Report12 Feb 2017

Pozzi and Ugen highlight British Indoor Championships


Andrew Pozzi in the 60m hurdles at the British Indoor Championships (© Getty Images)

Andrew Pozzi produced the best performance of this weekend’s British Indoor Championships in Sheffield (11-12).

Unbeaten this year, Pozzi stopped the clock at 7.44 in the 60m hurdles heats to equal the world-leading mark he set in Karlsruhe last Saturday. After some disqualifications for false starts and a subsequent delay to proceedings, Pozzi duly won the final in 7.51.

While the 24-year-old was disappointed not to run quicker in the final, his time was still faster than his pre-2017 lifetime best.

“I’m really happy with the times I’ve put together today, now the main aim is to try and win the championships in Belgrade,” he said. “I’ve got the quick times under my belt, so it’s about reproducing that type of form come the championships.”

Three of Britain’s best long jumpers opened their season at the British Indoor Championships. World indoor bronze medallist Lorraine Ugen took an early lead with 6.55m while European indoor pentathlon champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson opened with 6.43m.

Both improved in the next round with Ugen leaping 6.58m to Johnson-Thompson’s 6.54m. European silver medallist Jazmin Sawyers then entered the fray with a third-round jump of 6.54m. It prompted Johnson-Thompson to respond with 6.69m to take the lead while Ugen sailed out to 6.66m.

The positions remained the same throughout rounds four and five, but Ugen rounded out her series with a season’s best of 6.72m to regain the lead. Johnson-Thompson’s response of 6.68m wasn’t quite enough to move back into first place.

Bosworth breaks record

Tom Bosworth, who finished sixth in the 20km race walk at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, smashed his own national indoor record for the 5000m race walk. He recorded consistent kilometre splits of 3:45 and increased his tempo for the final few laps to cross the line in 18:39.47, moving into the top 25 on the world indoor all-time list.

"I can only imagine what it will be like on the Mall in London (for the IAAF World Championships) this summer, I cannot wait," said Bosworth. "I am in a really good position – that was a world lead by some way but I knew I was capable of it. It's great to win a national title but it is about performing on the international stage."

Hurdles specialist Eilidh Doyle won a competitive 400m final. She had a slight lead at the bell and managed to hold off a strong challenge from twin sisters Laviai and Lina Nielsen on the second lap, crossing the line in 52.64. Laviai, the European junior champion, was second in 52.86, just 0.03 ahead of her sister. Phillipa Lowe was a close fourth in 52.99.

Asha Philip successfully defended her 60m title in 7.19, winning by 0.19, while Andrew Robertson won the men’s short sprint in 6.57 ahead of Theo Etienne (6.59) and veteran Dwain Chambers (6.62). 2014 world indoor champion Richard Kilty was disqualified for a false start after qualifying fastest for the final with 6.62.

World finalist Shelayna Oskan-Clarke won the 800m in 2:03.54 while Guy Learmonth front-ran his way to victory in the men's race in 1:48.19.

Olympic 5000m finalist Eilish McColgan out-sprinted Stephanie Twell for the 3000m title, 9:05.07 to 9:05.30, and went on to finish second in the 1500m behind Sarah McDonald. European indoor silver medallist Lee Emanuel uncorked a final kilometre of 2:31.95 to win the men's 3000m in 7:55.91 as four other men finished within eight minutes.

Steven Mills and Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF