European under-23 heptathlon champion claims long jump gold as Grabarz, Muir and Asher-Smith also take titles at UK Indoor Championships
After her British high jump record on the opening day of UK Indoor Championships action, Katarina Johnson-Thompson showed world class form to also win the long jump with a huge personal best, world indoors qualifier and stadium record of 6.75m.
In claiming the two British titles on an action-packed weekend in Sheffield, the European under-23 heptathlon champion matched a feat achieved by 1964 Olympic long jump champion Mary Rand in 1966.
Having missed her lifetime best by just one centimetre in the third round with 6.55m, she went on to add 20cm to that mark to go to second on the UK indoor all-time list and secure her victory ahead of European junior silver medallist Jazmin Sawyers who jumped a personal best of 6.44m in the second round. Bronze went to Kelly Proper with 6.38m.
“It was definitely the best I could have imagined,” she said. “I’m over the moon with that.”
“I skipped the hurdles because I wanted to be really cautious for next weekend, I really want to qualify for the World Indoor Championships in the pentathlon.”
With first across the line Luke Lennon-Ford disqualified in the men’s 400m, victory went to Nigel Levine who took gold in 46.82.
Richard Buck secured silver in 46.88 and former decathlete Daniel Awde bagged the bronze in a PB 46.90.
Rory Evans had been a surprise leader at 200m in 21.29 but lost the lead to Levine down the backstraight. Levine was passed late by Lennon-Ford who stepped off the track.
In the women’s race, Margaret Adeoye easily won in an UK lead of 52.77.
Through 200m in 24.73 she was challenged by 400m hurdlers Meghan Beesley and Eliidh Child but she pulled well clear on the second lap to win by well over half a second.
Laura Wake finished fast to take silver in 53.35 with Beesley third and Child struggling home fourth.
Andrew Osagie seemingly won the men’s 800m easily to secure his place for Poland but after breaking the tape in 1:50.85 he was disqualified.
The Olympic finalist led at a slow pace through 200m in 28.01 and 400m in 57.32 and the slow pace continued through 600m in 85.58.
Osagie was surprisingly overtaken on the last lap by Paul Goodall but fought back. Mukhtar Mohammed won the battle behind and his 1:51.61 gave him the title with Osagie’s disqualification. Guy Learmonth won silver and Goodall took bronze.
In the women’s event, Laura Muir booked her place for Sopot with a superb last lap.
The pace was surprisingly slow as the leaders went through 200m in 31.84. The 400m was even slower and halfway was a disappointing 66.37 with world medallist Jenny Meadows ahead. Meadows picked up the third 200m which she covered in 31.09 but on the final backstraight, Muir sprinted past and completing her last lap in 28 seconds she won by five metres in 2:06.04.
Early leader Shelayna Oskan Clarke and Katie Kirk battled past a clearly not fully fit Meadows who missed out on a medal by 0.04 of a second.
“It’s really nice to have the time and to win and properly secure my place,” said Muir. “It’s a relief to have my place secured and I’m really looking forward to it.”
Lee Emanuel continued his top class form to win an exciting 1500m race in 3:48.15.
Charlie Grice was ahead at 800m in 2:10.53 and picked the pace up through 1200m in 3:07.57 but was powerless to stop UK leader Emamuel sprinting clear in the last 100m.
Just five hundredths covered the top four as Chris O’Hare edged past Grice for second with Kris Gauson almost catching the pair with a late rush.
The women’s 3000m suffered from big name withdrawals with Eilish McColgan, Hannah England, Emelia Gorecka and Lauren Howarth all failing to show.
In their absence, Beth Potter controlled the race early on and passed 1000m in 3:03.52 but the pace slowed through 2000m in 6:09.87.
Former European Team 1500m champion Charlene Thomas then pushed on and she covered the 400m between 2400m and 2800m in 68 seconds. A 33.61 last lap gave her a 9:05.93 win.
Josephie Moultrie finished second in 9:09.02 with Rosie Clarke third in a PB 9:10.99.
The women’s 200m proved a Blackheath and Bromley junior extravaganza as they took three of the first four places.
After a silver in the 60m, Dina Asher-Smith won a great battle with Shannon Hylton down the straight and the European junior champion’s 23.20 equalled the British junior indoor record. Hylton’s 23.24 was a big PB, indoors and out, and at 17 that put her sixth in the all-time senior lists and third in the juniors.
Joey Duck set a PB of 23.68 in third with Shannon’s twin sister Cheriece fourth.
Chris Clarke retained his title in the men’s 200m, but it was the time that he did it in with which he was most pleased.
An indoor personal best of 20.68 puts him in the top-10 UK all-time and equals the world lead. He crossed clear of Ryan Oswald, who also clocked an indoor PB with 21.25 for silver. Conrad Williams took bronze with 21.46.
In the women’s 60m hurdles, Gemma Bennett won her third British title as she ran a season’s best 8.20. Serita Solomon was second in 8.24 with Ireland’s Sarah Lavin just behind her with 8.25.
Despite not feeling his best, British record holder Luke Cutts won a pole vault jump off with Max Eaves, clearing 5.60m to claim his first British indoor title following four silvers.
Paul Walker cleared 5.30m for bronze while further down the field young talent Adam Hague cleared a personal best 5.15m – the equal third best ever by a British 16-year-old.
The men’s high jump didn’t reach the greatest heights but it did see four athletes share the winning height of 2.24m in an exciting contest.
Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz won courtesy of a clear record up to 2.24m. Chris Baker and Allan Smith set personal bests in second and third while UK leader at 2.30m, Tom parsons, missed out on a medal. Chris Kandu set a personal best of 2.20m in fifth.
In the men’s shot, there was never any chance of the throwers getting remotely close to the 20.30m necessary for Sopot.
In his first contest of 2014, Zane Duquemin led from round two with his 17.60m before improving to an UK lead of 2014 of 18.31m in the fifth though note Ryan Spencer-Jones threw 18.66m in December. While pleased to win his first British title, he was disappointed not to be over 19 metres. Greg Beard had four throws in the 17.55m to 17.43 range to take silver.
In the women’s triple jump 2010 world junior silver medallist Laura Samuel led the opening round with 13.32m and that proved sufficient for victory, as she made it three wins out of three thus far in 2014.
The 2006 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Nadia Williams, who didn’t compete at all in 2013, got better as the competition progressed and came close with a 13.27m final jump to take silver.
» See next week’s AW for full in-depth coverage from Sheffield. You can find a report on day one’s action here.