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european age group championships selection - first wave

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Adam Gemili

British Athletics has confirmed the first wave of selections for this summer’s European Junior Championships in Rieti, Italy and the European U23 Championships in Tampere, Finland.

Athletes could secure automatic selection by finishing first in their event at the trials, held at the England Athletics Under 20 and Under 23 Championships in Bedford last weekend, if they held a valid qualifying standard.

World Junior 100m champion Adam Gemili (coach: Michael Afilaka) and European Indoor champion Holly Bleasdale (Dan Pfaff, Scott Simpson) headline the GB & NI team for the European U23 Championships which take place on 10-14 July.

Following an impressive sprint-double at the England Athletics Under 20 and Under 23 Championships in Bedford last weekend, where he set a new 200m championship record of 20.30, Gemili has been selected for both the 100m and 200m as well as being named in the 4x100m relay squad. British pole vault record holder Holly Bleasdale will look to defend the European U23 pole vault title that she won in Ostrava, Czech Republic, in 2011, where a clearance of 4.55m was enough to win by 10cm.

Olympic hammer finalist Sophie Hitchon (Tore Gustafsson) has also secured selection to the GB & NI team, along with world junior long jump champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes), who competed in the heptathlon at London 2012 and has been selected for the same event in the European Under 23 Championships. 2009 double World Youth champion Jodie Williams (Stanley Madiri) has also been selected for the 100m and 200m in Tampere following victories in both events in Bedford.

The junior team travelling to Rieti for 18-21 July contains three medallists from last year’s IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona. Jessica Judd (Rob Denmark), who ran a personal best of 2:00.96 to clinch silver in Barcelona last summer, will look to go one better at the European Championships. The 18 year old has been in fine form this year, with a personal best of 2.00.37 earning her a first senior GB & NI appearance at the European Athletics Team Championships in Gateshead this weekend.

Joining Judd in a strong first wave of selections is Emelia Gorecka (Mick Woods), bronze medallist at the World Junior Championships twelve months ago. Gorecka, who won 5,000m silver at this championship two years ago, will contest the 3,000m this time around. Jazmin Sawyers (Alan Lerwill), is the reigning world junior long jump bronze medallist, and boasts a personal best of 6.67m, set in Barcelona last year.

British Athletics Performance Director Neil Black believes that both teams are in a position to perform well.

“In these first waves of selection we have selected two very strong groups of athletes that I’m sure will do well in Tampere and Rieti this summer. With the hard work of our coaches and support staff, as well as the support of the National Lottery, we have been able to help our talented young athletes to develop into a position to win international medals at age group championships and progress into the senior ranks.”

A second wave of selections will be made for the European Under 23 Championships in 1 July and for the European Junior Championships on 8 July.

Athletes selected in the GB & NI team for the European U23 Championships in the first wave of selections:

MEN:

100m: Adam Gemili (Michael Afilaka); 200m: Gemili, David Bolarinwa (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo); 1500m: Charlie Grice (Jon Bigg); 5,000m: Luke Caldwell (Robert Russell); 400mH: Sebastian Rodger (Stephen King), Niall Flannery (Nick Dakin); 4x100m relay: Bolarinwa, Gemili, Samuel Osewa (Clarence Callender), Danny Talbot (Daniel Cossins), Deji Tobais (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo); High jump: Chris Baker (Aston Moore); Long jump: James McLachlan (Denis Costello), Shot put: Zane Duquemin (John Hillier); Discus: Duquemin; Hammer: Nick Miller (John Baumann); Decathlon: Ashley Bryant (Ian Grant)

WOMEN:

100m: Jodie Williams (Madiri); 200m: Jodie Williams, Bianca Williams (Lloyd Cowan); 1500m: Laura Muir (Andy Young); 5,000m: Kate Avery* (Tony Simmons); 10,000m: Avery*; High jump: Isobel Pooley (Fayyaz Ahmed); Pole vault: Holly Bleasdale (Dan Pfaff, Scott Simpson), Katie Byres (Julien Raffalli-Ebezant); Long jump: Lorraine Ugen (Frank Attoh); Javelin: Isabelle Jeffs (David Parker); Hammer: Sophie Hitchon (Tore Gustafsson); Heptathlon: Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes)

*Kate Avery will compete in either the 5,000m or 10,000m and will decide in due course.

Athletes selected in the GB & NI team for the European Junior Championships in the first wave of selections:

MEN:

100m: Josh Cox (Alan Watts); 200m: Leon Reid (James Hillier); 400m: Ben Snaith (Mick Graham); 800m: Jordan Bransberg (Andrew Medley); 1500m: Shaun Wyllie (Jeff Seddon), Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman); 5,000m: Jonathan Davies (Rob McKim), Michael Callegari (Nadeem Shaikh); 110mH: David King (James Hillier), David Omoregie (Mike Guest), Khai Riley-Laborde (Ray Gibbins); 400mH: Jacob Paul (Marina Armstrong); 3000mS/C: Zak Seddon (Seddon); 20k Walk: Jamie Higgins (Andi Drake); 4x100m relay: Cox, Reid; High jump: Chris Kandu (John Herbert); Pole Vault: Dan Gardner (Alan Richardson); Long jump: Feron Sayers (Femi Akinsanya), Elliot Safo (John Shepherd); Triple Jump: Efe Uwaifo (Tom McNab); Discus: Nick Percy (John Hillier) Gregory Thompson (Neville Thompson); Hammer: Michael Painter (John Painter); Javelin: Benji Pearson (David Parker)

WOMEN:

100m: Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie), Sophie Papps (Neil Dodson); 200m: Asher-Smith, Desiree Henry (Stanley Madiri); 800m: Jessica Judd (Rob Denmark); 3,000m: Emelia Gorecka (Mick Woods); 5,000m: Gorecka, Rebecca Weston (Peter Mullervy); 100mH: Yasmin Miller (Jared Deacon); 400mH: Hayley McLean (Steve Mitchell); 3000mS/C: Katie Ingle (Margaret Riley), Amy-Eloise Neale (Frank Dauncey); 4 x 100m Relay: Asher-Smith, Papps, Henry, Miller; Pole Vault: Lucy Bryan (Charles Preston); Long jump: Jazmin Sawyers (Alan Lerwill); Shot: Sophie McKinna (Geoff Capes); Discus: Shadine Duquemin (John Hillier); Hammer: Louisa James (Ron James)