Mix of youth and experience on GB team for Moscow as Mo Farah leads British charge for medals while a decision is yet to be made on men’s long jump spot
A GB squad with a mixture of youth and experience has been named for the IAAF World Championships in Moscow from August 10-18.
The likes of Mo Farah, Christine Ohuruogu and Jess Ennis-Hill have been named alongside younger athletes such as Jess Judd, Lorraine Ugen and Dina Asher-Smith, who at 17 is the youngest member of the team.
In the men’s 100m Harry Aikines-Aryeetey joins James Dasaolu and Dwain Chambers, while Adam Gemili and Delano Williams line up alongside James Ellington over double the distance. Danny Talbot, who beat Gemili over 200m at the recent European Under-23 Championships, has not been included in the team, while Richard Kilty has been named part of the squad for the men’s 4x100m relay.
Commenting on the male sprinters included in the squad, UKA’s performance director Neil Black explained: “It was great to have a choice, we’ve all relished and embraced the improved sprinting performances and some of the great performances over the weekend out in Finland and prior to that.
“In some ways it was tough and in other ways it wasn’t (to decide). Harry (Aikines-Aryeetey’s) season has been timed to perfection, it was always aimed at coming out and demonstrating his best form. Understandably people would have seen some lesser performances in preparation and wondered, but we knew what he was focussed on and we know that he is a huge contributor to the potential relay squad.
“Adam (Gemili), unquestionable in his sprinting ability and a young developing world 100m champion at age-group level. The focus for Adam has always been on the 200m so it wasn’t too difficult a decision to allocate Adam towards the 200m and Harry to the 100m.
“The sprinting decisions weren’t actually as difficult as perhaps people perceived that they might be.”
Asked whether he felt pressure to include Williams on the squad given he has just switched allegiance from his native Turks and Caicos Islands to GB, Black added: “Not at all to be honest, I can understand that people would perceive that but we’ve seen the true potential… we really understand his ability over 200m.
“We all know that he didn’t have a great start at the weekend but his credentials are undoubted. You don’t achieve what he’s achieved in sprinting without being a top-class championships performer. We believe that’s what he’s about so that combination of James (Ellington), Delano and Adam (Gemili) we believe is the correct selection for the 200m.”
Asha Philip claims the sole 100m berth in the women’s team, while Anyika Onuora, one of only three women in the world to hold ‘A’ standards over 100m, 200m and 400m, has been selected for the 200m and 4x400m relay, where she’ll be joined by the likes of Margaret Adeoye and Christine and Victoria Ohuruogu, making them the first sisters to feature together in a world championship team. Christine will also run the 400m.
Laura Muir has been selected for the 800m, rather than the 1500m, her specialist event, due to her current places in the respective rankings as Hannah England and Laura Weightman claim 1500m spots. Lisa Dobriskey announced earlier on Tuesday how she’s had to cut her season short due to a leg injury sustained at the UK trials so will not be competing over the distance in Moscow. Also named for the 800m is Marilyn Okoro and 18-year-old Judd, who had been named in the GB team for the European Juniors in Rieti this week but has withdrawn to concentrate on her preparations for Moscow.
Olympic men’s high jump bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz receives an automatic place following his 2012 Diamond League victory, as does defending world 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene. Greene is joined by Sebastian Rodger and Rhys Williams.
Among those set to make their debuts are Asher-Smith in the women’s 4x100m squad who, at 17, is the youngest member of the team, and long jumper Lorraine Ugen.
Some notable absentees include Alex Wright in the 20km walk who, despite having bettered the ‘A’ standard, has not been picked, meaning GB will not be sending a representative for that event, with Tom Bosworth, who holds three ‘B’ standards also not selected.
Holly Bleasdale will miss the championships as she continues to recover from injury. Discretion could have been given to include the likes of Chris Thompson and Steph Twell, however Black advised: “… The harsh reality is that the selection policy tells us that the only round they could be considered in was round five which was the performance director’s discretion.”
He added: “There’s an association with a true understanding and belief that those athletes are exceptional athletes that can go on and win medals at the world or the Olympic championships in the future. We applied that logically, carefully and sensibly in the selection meeting and the unfortunate answer, which I have explained to them both, is that we couldn’t justify that. That’s the honest truth.”
He did, however, decide to use his performance director’s discretion to take a further period of time to announce selection for the men’s long jump. Expected to be between Olympic champion Greg Rutherford and Chris Tomlinson, this decision will be announced on July 30, with Rutherford struggling with injury and both athletes having failed to meet the ‘A’ standard.
British squad for the IAAF World Championships
100m: Harry Aikines Aryeetey, Dwain Chambers, James Dasaolu; 200m: James Ellington, Adam Gemili, Delano Williams; 400m: Nigel Levine; 800m: Andrew Osagie, Michael Rimmer; 1500m: Chris O’Hare; 5000m: Mo Farah; 10,000m: Farah; 110mH: William Sharman; 400mH: Dai Greene, Sebastian Rodger, Rhys Williams; 3000mSC: James Wilkinson; Long Jump: TBA; High Jump: Robbie Grabarz; Pole Vault: Steve Lewis; Discus Throw: Brett Morse; Decathlon: Ashley Bryant; 4x100m: Aikines Aryeetey, Chambers, Dasaolu, Ellington, Gemili, Richard Kilty, Andrew Robertson, Deji Tobais; 4x400m: Michael Bingham, Jamie Bowie, Luke Lennon Ford, Levine, Martyn Rooney, Conrad Williams, Delano Williams.
100m: Asha Philip; 200m: Anyika Onuora, Jodie Williams; 400m: Christine Ohuruogu; 800m: Jessica Judd, Laura Muir, Marilyn Okoro; 1500m: Hannah England, Laura Weightman; 100mH: Tiffany Porter; 400mH: Meghan Beesley, Eilidh Child, Perri Shakes-Drayton; 3000mSC: Eilish McColgan; Long Jump: Shara Proctor, Lorraine Ugen; Hammer Throw: Sophie Hitchon; Heptathlon: Jessica Ennis, Katarina Johnson-Thompson; Marathon (Selected in April) Sonia Samuels, Susan Partridge; 4x100m: Philip, Hayley Jones, Annabelle Lewis, Ashleigh Nelson, Bianca Williams, Dina Asher Smith, Williams; 4x400m: Margaret Adeoye, Child, Shana Cox, Kirsten McAslan, Kelly Massey, Christine Ohuruogu, Victoria Ohuruogu, Onuora, Shakes-Drayton.