Despite strong headwinds at the British Championships, 100m winner Dina Asher-Smith and 200m victor Adam Gemili broke championship records at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium this weekend.
Triple European gold medallist Asher-Smith was the standout performer on Saturday (24), first clocking 11.03 to win her 100m semifinal into a -2.0m/s headwind and then going on to win the final in 10.96 (-0.9m/s) to break her own championship record by 0.01.
Asha Philip was second in 11.29, 0.01 ahead of world 4x100m silver medal-winning teammate Daryll Neita.
“When you have two rounds in a day, you run them like they’re World Championships semis and finals,” said Asher-Smith. “You have to run for each and every place.”
The men’s 100m was much closer; in fact it was one of the closest finishes ever at the British Championships as all three medallists clocked 10.18 (-1.9m/s) with Ojie Edoburun getting the verdict over Gemili and European 100m champion Zharnel Hughes.
Gemili and Hughes returned to the track 24 hours later for the 200m final. Despite another strong headwind – this time -1.2m/s – Gemili won in a championship and stadium record of 20.08, his fastest time since his PB run of 19.97 in September 2016.
Hughes was second in 20.25 with Miguel Francis finishing third (20.34) and Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake fourth (20.39).
“I knew coming in I didn’t have the qualifying time and I knew the field was unreal,” said Gemili. “I knew there were four of us in there that are sub-10 seconds for the 100m and Zharnel is sub-20 seconds for the 200m in his career and anyone could have taken it.”
The women’s 200m was held in the windiest conditions of the weekend, but Jodie Williams tackled the -4.3m/s headwind to win in 23.06.
Other record-breaking feats came from Callum Wilkinson, who broke the British 5000m race walk record with 18:42.23, and Holly Bradshaw, who won the pole vault with a championship record of 4.73m.
The women’s long jump provided the highlight of the field events. Abigail Irozuru jumped into the lead in round two with 6.71m, only to be bettered by Shara Proctor’s season’s best of 6.84m in round three. Irozuru then responded with a lifetime best of 6.86m (1.6m/s) to regain the lead.
Lorraine Ugen jumped a season’s best of 6.68m in round four to move into third, only to be bumped out of the medals by Jazmin Sawyers, who produced her best leap of the year, 6.71m, in the final round to finish third.
Ben Williams showed his recent European Team Championships victory wasn’t a fluke, winning the triple jump with a lifetime best of 17.27m (1.1m/s).
There was much at stake in the middle-distance events as several athletes had qualifying marks for the IAAF World Athletics Championships Doha 2019 and needed to finish in the top two to guarantee their place on the British team.
In the men’s 800m – an event in which eight Britons hold the World Championships qualifying mark – the top two places were taken by athletes who don’t yet have the standard.
Jamie Webb led coming off the final bend but Spencer Thomas was slowly gaining on him as they neared the line. Guy Learmonth then came striding down on the outside to cross the line in unison with Thomas, both men out-dipping Webb. Thomas and Learmonth were given the same time, 1:46.79, with Thomas crowned the winner.
Selection for the women’s event will be more straight-forward as the top three all have the qualifying mark. European indoor champion Shelayna Oskan-Clarke controlled the race and won in 2:02.67 from Lynsey Sharp (2:02.79) and Alexandra Bell (2:02.87).
In the men’s 1500m, Neil Gourley timed his kick to perfection to overtake Josh Kerr with about 40 metres to go, winning in 3:48.36 from Kerr (3:48.51). Jake Wightman was third in 3:48.69 while Charlie Grice, who earlier this year clocked a PB of 3:30.62, was fourth in 3:48.83.
Kambundji breaks Swiss 200m record
As has been the case for several years in succession, Mujinga Kambundji produced the top performances at the Swiss Championships, which this year returned to Bern for the first time since 2012.
The world indoor bronze medallist won the 100m on Friday (23) in a season’s best of 11.00 (-0.2m/s), the second-fastest time of her career behind the national record of 10.95 she clocked to win the Swiss title last year.
She then returned one day later to win the 200m in 22.26, regaining the Swiss record that she held from 2014 until 2016 when Lea Sprunger claimed it with a 22.38 clocking in Geneva.
Fresh from winning the European U20 decathlon title, Simon Ehammer broke his own national U20 record to win the long jump with 7.84m.
Big shots collide at Polish Championships
Konrad Bukowiecki beat European champion Michal Haratyk to take the shot put title at the Polish Championships in Radom.
Bukowiecki led from the outset, opening with 21.25m and improving to 21.70m in the fourth round. Haratyk, who set a national record of 22.32m just a few weeks ago, threw 21.18m in round one and extended that to 21.45m but could not catch Bukowiecki, who ended his series with 21.83m, the second-best throw of his career to date.
Three-time world champion Pawel Fajdek won the hammer with 78.61m from European champion Wojciech Nowicki (74.75m), while Malwina Kopron got the better of Joanna Fiodorow in the women’s event, 73.95m to 72.76.
Just 20 hours after setting a national 1500m record of 3:31.95 at the IAAF Diamond League meeting in Paris, Marcin Lewandowski was back on home soil and won the Polish 1500m title in 3:57.60.
European champion Justyna Swiety-Ersetic was beaten into third place in the women’s 400m, which was won by Iga Baumgart-Witan in 51.48. Anna Kielbasinska was second in 51.51, 0.12 ahead of Swiety-Ersetic.
Levchenko clears 2.00m at Ukrainian Championships
World silver medallist Yuliya Levchenko cleared a season’s best of 2.00m to win the high jump at the Ukrainian Championships in Lutsk on Friday (23).
The 21-year-old led for most of the competition but was briefly bumped into third place after Yaroslava Mahuchikh and Iryna Herashchenko both cleared 1.91m on their first attempts while Levchenko needed two.
But Levchenko regained command of the competition with a first-time clearance at 1.94m. Herashchenko got over that bar on her third try but went no higher. Mahuchikh managed 1.96m and then bowed out with three misses at 1.98m. Levchenko, meanwhile, went on to clear 1.98m and 2.00m before ending her series with three unsuccessful attempts at a would-be PB of 2.02m.
Daryna Sloboda came from behind to win the heptathlon. Having duelled with world U20 javelin champion Alina Shukh for much of the two days, Sloboda’s superior 800m run of 2:11.35 was enough to move her back into the lead, winning with a PB of 6208.
Shukh, who had struggled for form in the middle of the season, produced season’s bests in six of the seven disciplines and was rewarded with a score of 6178, her best mark since setting a national U20 record of 6381 in 2017.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF