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'super sunday' at sainsbury's british championships

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KJT

22 June 2015

The Sainsbury’s British Championships on the weekend of 3-5 July is set for a ‘Super Sunday’ of athletics as fans at the Alexander Stadium will be treated to an afternoon jam packed with finals featuring the country’s best athletes.

The timetable has been shaped to showcase the best talent on offer during an afternoon where no less than 22 British champions will be crowned. A three hour period of competition will include the likes of Olympic long jump champion Greg Rutherford (coach: Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo, club: Marshall Milton Keynes) and heptathlon star Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes, Liverpool Harriers).

Johnson-Thompson will line up in the women’s long jump where she will face stiff competition from the likes of British Record holder Shara Proctor (Rana Reider, Birchfield Harriers) and Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson, Blackheath and Bromley), the first ever 7m jump by a British athlete could be on the cards.

In the men’s long jump, Rutherford will look to build on an outstanding start to his 2015 campaign that has seen him take back to back Diamond League victories in Birmingham and Oslo. The Olympic, Commonwealth and European champion will take on Dan Bramble (Frank Attoh, Shaftesbury Barnet), who has enjoyed an incredible breakthrough season, jumping a personal best of 8.21m in April.

The climax of the afternoon will come with the finals of the 100m, which will bring the weekend’s action to a close in style. A golden generation of British sprinters will battle it out for the honour of becoming British champion as well as qualifying for the IAAF World Championships, which take place in Beijing in August.

British Record holder Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie, Blackheath & Bromley) will make her Sainsbury’s British Championships debut and leads the way in the women’s 100m rankings but with Asha Philip (Steve Fudge, Newham & Essex Beagles) hot on her heels it could be an exciting showdown. The men’s race is also not to be missed, with Richard Kilty (Linford Christie, Gateshead Harriers), Chijindu Ujah (Tawiah-Dodoo, Enfield & Haringey) and James Dasaolu (Fudge) all already under the World Championships qualifying standard.

A cluster of six men currently occupy the top spots in the men’s 400m rankings, separated by just 0.4 seconds. Birchfield Harrier Jarryd Dunn (Keith Holt) clocked 45.09 to take an impressive victory at the European Team Championships last weekend and will be hoping for a repeat performance on his home track. British 4x400m relay stalwart Conrad Williams (Linford Christie) leads after an impressive 45.06 PB at the age of 33, while Martyn Rooney (Rana Reider, Croydon) and another local man Matthew Hudson-Smith (Tony Hadley, Birchfield) will look to show the form that saw them clinch a British one-two at the European Championships last summer.

Dunn said: “The 400m is looking particularly strong, there are six guys who have ran the World Championships qualifying time and there could be a few others. The 400m has got the makings of a very quick final on Sunday evening and I think it could be the race of the championships.

“I’ve trained at the Alexander Stadium since I was 10 years old so know the track well and always perform well in Birmingham. Everyone is going to have to bring their A game to Birmingham and for the crowd it should be quite a final.”

Former Olympic 400m medallist Katharine Merry, who won four British titles during her career, believes that the timetable will mean that the Birmingham crowd will be treated to the best competition that British athletics has to offer.

She said: “It doesn't get any better in terms of domestic competition. That's what people want to see; the best British athletes in action. The crowd are a smart crowd, they love track and field and they love competition.

“It's going to be brilliant, it's going to be 'blink and you'll miss it' and I know lots of people are looking forward to it. With places up for grabs in Beijing you can't get much more of an incentive for the athletes and the crowd are going to love it.”

For tickets to the Sainsbury's British Championships visit http://www.ticketmaster.co.uk/2015_Outdoor_Season/