The 2019 Müller British Athletics Championships was set for explosive action. Many athletes were racing not only for their country’s highest accolades. A place on the Great Britain team for the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha in a months’ time was also up for grabs. The surprisingly hot and windy conditions at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham made qualifying times and positions even harder.
Butchart Regains his 5K Title
After injury ruled Andrew Butchart out of the 2018 British Athletics Championships, he wanted to show his class in the 5,000m. Despite not running hard from the start, Butchart made a decisive (possibly pre-planned) long kick for the finish line with two and a half laps to go. Butchart’s impressive 2:28 last kilometre meant he finished in 13:54.29. He was the only man to run under fourteen minutes. Knowing that he had booked himself a spot at the World Championships, the Scot even showed off to the camera before officially claiming the title.
McColgan Claims First British Title
The race was even more emphatically won in the women’s 5,000m. Eilish McColgan dominated the race from the start, forging a sizable lead within the first lap. Perhaps, knowing that competitors such as Laura Weightman and Melissa Courtney were not at their best, McColgan ran a superb race alone. She never looked behind her shoulder. It was a gutsy performance and gave the 28-year-old her first British 5k title in a time of 15:21.38. It was more than fourteen seconds ahead of Jessica Judd in second place.
Lively Sprinters Show Remarkable Quality
Expectations were high for Dina Asher-Smith, who has run so consistently well throughout the Diamond League season. She comfortably won her semi-final in 11.03 then broke her own Championship record from the previous year to record 10.96 and retain her 100m British title. Her dominant performance reminds her competitors to watch out in Doha.
After relative disappointment for Adam Gemili at narrowly missing out on the gold medal in the 100m men’s final, he came blasting out of the blocks for the 200m final. After the bend, Gemili maintained a strong arm drive, quick leg turnover and relaxed posture to comfortably win the title in a new championship record of 20.08. His huge grin showed how ecstatic (and most likely relieved) he was with such an outstanding performance, one that he so richly deserves.
Matthew Hudson-Smith also shone in his home city by clocking a season’s best of 45.15 and winning the 400m title comfortably. Despite recent injuries he is peaking at the right time for an opportunity to excel in Qatar’s capital.
There were so many outstanding performances over the sunny Bank Holiday weekend. But with the World Championships so close, athletes will either have to finish their last training or find another race to attempt to qualify for the event. There is still a lot more running to do before Britain can feel confident they can podium on one of the biggest stages of all.