Tuesday, 11 July 2017 21:37

Adam Gemili misses out on 200m spot in GB squad for world championships

• Gemili’s spot goes to Zharnel Hughes for 200m
• Greg Rutherford fighting to be fit for world championships

The reigning European 200m champion Adam Gemili, who missed out on Olympic bronze in Rio by three thousands of a second, has not been picked for the distance at next month’s world championships in London after selectors refused to give him more time to prove his fitness.

Gemili, who has been struggling with a leg injury, had hoped to be given until the 24 July deadline but instead will have to make do with the 4x100m after selectors decided to give Zharnel Hughes, who finished third in the UK trials this month, the wild card spot.

The decision is bound to prove controversial but the British Athletics performance director, Neil Black, insisted they had to go with Hughes.

“The men’s 200m probably is the event at which we have the highest quality and strength in depth with a number of athletes capable of competing at the highest level, making a final and potentially challenging for medals,” he said. “In the circumstances we had to go on performance in the trials and recent performances and that meant that we chose Zharnel ahead of Adam. But Adam is a critical member of the men’s 4x100m relay team. Obviously it’s a huge disappointment for Adam but he will deal with it as he always does, professionally and appropriately.”

Britain’s best hope of a gold medal will again come from Mo Farah, who doubles up in the 5,000m and 10,000m, and another hero of 2012’s Super Saturday, Greg Rutherford, is also named in the team despite facing an uphill struggle to recover in time from damaged ankle ligaments. “Obviously this isn’t ideal,” Rutherford said. “But I am doing everything to give myself the best chance of success.”

Elsewhere Laura Muir has been allowed to run in both the 1500m and 5,000m after recovering from a stress fracture in her foot, while Katarina Johnson-Thompson will also be looking for success in two events, the heptathlon and the high jump.

Dina Asher-Smith gets the wildcard spot in the women’s 200m as she returns from breaking her foot this year, while CJ Ujah is named in the 100m team.

However there is no place for the former Olympic and double world champion Christine Ohuruogu.

“Chrissy is a fantastic athlete who has achieved everything within the sport, but her performances coming into this season haven’t been at a standard required to be competitive and therefore we didn’t feel that it was the right thing to select her,” said Black. “Christine is very happy to try and support the younger, new members and team in any way that we would think is positive.”

Black also denied that the team might struggle to achieve their target of six to eight medals due to a series of injuries to many of the country’s best athletes this year. He claimed that Farah, along with Muir, Johnson-Thompson, Andrew Pozzi in the 110m hurdles, Holly Bradshaw in the pole vault, Sophie Hitchon in the hammer, those selected for the men’s 200m, and the four relay teams all had chances of a medal.

Said Black: “I don’t think we’ve any reason to be thinking other than we are going to be competitive for medals at similar levels to that which we’ve done before but we’ve all got to remember that this is the post-Olympic and Paralympic year.

“Despite the fact that London 2017 is a massive home Olympics for us, historically the trend is one of reduced performances in that year so we’re trying to buck the trend. Even taking that into account I don’t think we should be anything other than optimistic. This feels bigger for us than Rio.”


Britain Announces Its World Championships Team

British Athletics has today announced a team of 78 athletes to compete at next month’s IAAF World Championships in London from 4-13 August 2017.

Reigning 5000m and 10,000m World Champion Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) headlines the team as he aims to defend both titles in the Olympic stadium next month. Farah, who has not been defeated in a 5000m or 10,000m race at a major championships since 2011, will be looking to pick up his fourth straight world title in the 5000m (2011, 2013 and 2015) and complete a hat-trick of 10,000m world titles, after taking gold in 2013 and 2015.

Also looking to achieve a double success on the track in London is Laura Muir (Andy Young). Muir qualified for the 1500m by winning last season’s Diamond League event and has shown sufficient form and fitness (after recovering from a stress fracture in her foot earlier this year) to also claim a place in the 5,000m.

Selected in both the heptathlon and high jump, Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Bertrand Valcin) will be another looking for success in two events. The 24-year-old from Liverpool broke her heptathlon personal best in Gotzis this May and is the current British recorder holder in the high jump.

Despite currently suffering from an ankle ligament injury, reigning long jump world champion Greg Rutherford (Dan Pfaff) has also been named in the squad. With just over three weeks to go until the start of the Championships, British Athletics is backing Rutherford in his race to be fit to compete in the stadium where he won Olympic gold in 2012. “Obviously this isn’t ideal,” Rutherford said this weekend. “But I am doing everything to give myself the best chance of success at the World Championships in London.”

Olympic bronze medallist from 2016, Sophie Hitchon (Tore Gustafsson) secured her place on the team after winning a fourth successive British title and will be joined in the hammer by 2015 world finalist Nick Miller (Gustafsson).

There is a welcome return to international action for Perri Shakes-Drayton (Chris Zah) in the 4x400m relay and Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie) in the 200m and 4x100m relay. Asher-Smith, who won Olympic bronze in the 4x100m relay in 2016 and finished 5th in the 2015 200m world championships final, returned to action earlier this month after suffering fractured a bone in her right foot in February. Shakes-Drayton last represented British Athletics at the 2013 world championships, where she sustained a knee injury which has kept her out of international competition ever since.

European indoor hurdle champion Andrew Pozzi (Benke Blomkvist), sprinters CJ Ujah (Stuart McMillan) and Zharnel Hughes (Patrick Dawson) also make the team in the individual events, with Adam Gemili (Rana Reider) selected in the 4x100m relay squad.

Performance Director for British Athletics, Neil Black said: “This feels bigger for us than Rio. London 2017 is the major global sporting event this year and will be the biggest occasion the country has seen since 2012. We’ve selected some incredibly talented athletes, and in many events there have been some close calls. It’s now up to them to grasp this opportunity and produce performances that will make the whole nation proud.”

In the men’s marathon, Andrew Davies (Steve Vernon) has replaced Robbie Simpson who has withdrawn due to a calf injury.

In a move designed to empower athletes, those selected will vote to elect the British Athletics Team Captain at London 2017. Voting will commence tomorrow (12 July) with each athlete selected eligible to vote for anyone within the team. The Team Captain will be announced on 24 July.

In keeping with its philosophy of “selecting a large and competitive team to help inspire the next generation of British track and field stars” there will be a second and final selection meeting on the 24 July, where any events with unfilled places or available Home Nation slots will be discussed.

The British Athletics team for the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London:

MEN:
100m:
Reece Prescod (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo)
James Dasaolu (Lloyd Cowan)
CJ Ujah (Stuart McMillan)

200m:
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Dennis Shaver)
Danny Talbot (Benke Blomkvist)
Zharnel Hughes (Patrick Dawson)

400m:
Matt Hudson-Smith (Tony Hadley)
Dwayne Cowan (Lloyd Cowan)
Martyn Rooney (Graham Hedman)

800m: 
Elliot Giles (Jon Bigg)
Guy Learmonth (Henry Gray)
Kyle Langford (Jon Bigg)

1500m:
Chris O’Hare (Terrence Mahon)
Josh Kerr (Joe Franklin)
Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman)

5000m: 
Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar)
Andrew Butchart (Derek Easton)

10,000m:
Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar)

3000m steeplechase:
Rob Mullett (Andrew and Amy Begley)
Zak Seddon (Jeff Seddon)

110m hurdles: 
Andrew Pozzi (Benke Blomkvist)
David King (James Hillier)
David Omoregie (Benke Blomkvist)

400m hurdles:
Jack Green (self-coached)

High Jump: 
Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Caan)

Long Jump: 
Greg Rutherford (Dan Pfaff)

Triple Jump:
Nathan Fox (Tosin Oke)

Hammer:
Nick Miller (Tore Gustafsson)

Decathlon:
Ashley Bryant (Aston Moore)

20km Race Walk:
Tom Bosworth (Andi Drake)
Callum Wilkinson (Andi Drake)

50km Race Walk:
Dominic King (George Nibre)

Marathon Men:
Callum Hawkins (coach: Robert Hawkins)
Josh Griffiths (self-coached)
Andrew Davies (Steve Vernon)

4x100m relay:
CJ Ujah (Stuart McMillan)
Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Dennis Shaver)
Danny Talbot (Benke Blomkvist)
Zharnel Hughes (Patrick Dawson)
Adam Gemili (Rana Reider)
Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Benke Blomkvist)
Richard Kilty (Kevin Kilty)
Reece Prescod (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo)

4x400m relay:
Matt Hudson-Smith (Tony Hadley)
Dwayne Cowan (Lloyd Cowan)
Martyn Rooney (Graham Hedman)
Delano Williams (Neil Harrison)
Rabah Yousif (Carol Williams)
Jack Green (self-coached)
Cameron Chalmers (James Hillier)

WOMEN:
100m:
Asha Philip (Steve Fudge)
Daryll Neita (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo)
Desiree Henry (Rana Reider)

200m:
Shannon Hylton (Ryan Freckleton)
Bianca Williams (Lloyd Cowan)
Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie)

400m: 
Zoey Clark (Eddie McKenna)
Emily Diamond (Jared Deacon)
Anyika Onuora (Rana Reider)

800m:
Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Jon Bigg)
Adelle Tracey (Craig Winrow)
Lynsey Sharp (Terrence Mahon)

1500m:
Laura Muir (Andy Young)
Laura Weightman (Steve Cram)
Jessica Judd (Mick Judd)
Sarah McDonald (David Harmer)

5000m:
Steph Twell (Mick Woods)
Eilish McColgan (Liz McColgan-Nuttall)
Laura Muir (Andy Young)

10,000m:
Beth Potter (Mick Woods)
Jessica Martin (Josep Carballude)
Charlotte Taylor (Helen Lehman-Winters)

3000m steeplechase:
Rosie Clarke (David Harmer)

100m hurdles:
Tiffany Porter (Jeff Porter)

400m hurdles:
Eilidh Doyle (Brian Doyle)

High Jump:
Morgan Lake (Fuzz Caan)
Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Bertrand Valcin)

Pole Vault:
Holly Bradshaw (Scott Simpson)

Long Jump:
Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson)

Discus:
Jade Lally (Andrew Neal)

Hammer:
Sophie Hitchon (Tore Gustafsson)

Heptathlon:
Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Bertrand Valcin)

20km Race Walk:
Gemma Bridge (Mark Wall)
Bethan Davies (Andi Drake)

Marathon Women:
Alyson Dixon (self-coached)
Charlotte Purdue (Nic Bideau)
Tracy Barlow (Nick Anderson)

4x100m relay:
Asha Philip (Steve Fudge)
Daryll Neita (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo)
Desiree Henry (Rana Reider)
Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie)
Shannon Hylton (Ryan Frekleton)
Bianca Williams (Lloyd Cowan)
Corinne Humphreys (Darren Braithwaite)

4x400m:
Zoey Clark (Eddie McKenna)
Emily Diamond (Jared Deacon)
Anyika Onuora (Rana Reider)
Eilidh Doyle (Brian Doyle)
Laviai Nielsen (Frank Adams)
Perri Shakes-Drayton (Chris Zah)