Olympic Trials preview – men’s field

A look ahead to the men’s field events at this weekend’s Olympic Trials in Birmingham

Robbie Grabarz (Victah Sailer)

Aviva 2012 Trials – Birmingham, June 22-24

BBC 2 & online, Saturday June 23: 16:45-18:30.
Sunday June 24: 17:00-19:00.
Timetable and live results


High jump

UK rankings. A standard – 2.31. B standard – 2.28.
Final: Sat 14:50.

Robbie Grabarz, with his superb 2.36m form at the moment, is certain to be on the Olympic team, but will anyone be joining him in the event in which Britain had three in the top nine in Beijing? They will need the Olympic ‘A’ of 2.31m to be sure.

Tom Parsons, eighth in Beijing, has a best of just 2.25m this season and Martyn Bernard, who was one place behind him, 2.28m.
Samson Oni has the ‘A’ from last year and one ‘B’ from this year so he also needs to up his game.

Last year the injury-prone Germaine Mason, the 2008 Olympic silver medallist, made a surprise last-minute decision to compete at the UK Championships for the first time in two years. A no-height has been his sole competitive result this season.

Pole vault

UK rankings. A standard – 5.72. B standard – 5.60.
Final: Sat 16:09.

Steve Lewis is a big favourite here and, having returned to top form this season, has already gained the requisite two ‘A’ standards. The pressure is off so under good conditions he could attack Nick Buckfield’s UK record of 5.81m.

Luke Cutts and Max Eaves, both over 5.60m in the past couple of years, have not been in that form this season so a tight battle for the minor places looks possible. Andrew Sutcliffe, who jumped 5.55m indoors, has only managed 5.20m outdoors this summer.

Long jump

UK rankings. A standard – 8.20. B standard – 8.10.
Final: Sat 16:25.

Greg Rutherford has equalled Chris Tomlinson’s UK record this season and shown the consistency that suggests he is a medal contender for London in a year of low standards globally. However, Tomlinson – despite having competed sparingly, registering an 8.01m and 7.77m – claims he has been training well and is feeling confident.

The rest will need big improvements to make the team.

Triple jump

UK rankings. A standard – 17.20. B standard – 16.85.
Final: Sat 14:05.

Assuming he competes, Phillips Idowu, the 2009 world champion, will be among the hottest favourites of all, but he looks set to be the only Brit at the Games in this event.

Despite returning to action last month with 16.46m after rupturing his ankle last May, Nathan Douglas is a doubtful starter.

Larry Achike, the 1998 Commonwealth champion, is due to defend his title at the age of 37.

Shot

UK rankings. A standard – 20.50. B standard – 20.00.
Final: Sun 15:15.

Carl Myerscough should win his 11th consecutive title in this event. With two ‘B’ standards, the UK No.1 could compete in what would be his first Olympics if he can find another ‘B’ of 20.00m or more.

Zane Duquemin, Scott Rider and Ryan Spencer-Jones are the only other men over 18 metres this year.

Discus

UK rankings. A standard – 65.00. B standard – 63.00.
Final: Sun 17:28.

Last year four men had the ‘A’ standard for the World Champs but it was new UK record-holder Lawrence Okoye who missed out after a disappointing fifth at the trials. But such has been his form this year, not even another disaster would be enough to put Okoye’s selection in jeopardy.

However, for the other three with an ‘A’, placing top two could be crucial. Myerscough has a current ‘A’ standard, while Abdul Buhari and Brett Morse have been a little down on their 2011 form.

Hammer

UK rankings. A standard – 78.00. B standard – 74.00.
Final: Sun 13:35.

This event has seen good standards in Britain this year and the selection battle appears to have come down to Alex Smith and Mark Dry and, without them throwing 78.00m, only one can be selected.

Dry has the required two current  ‘B’ standards (since April) and could be selected on that. Smith leads the rankings with his 75.63m in March, but he will need two ‘B’ standards by the cut-off.

Javelin

UK rankings. A standard – 82.00. B standard – 79.50.
Final: Sat 13:25.

Mervyn Luckwell should be favourite with five throws farther this year than the best of UK 2012, No.2 Lee Doran, who looks good for at least silver.

Two athletes in the line-up will be separated by 30 years. Nineteen-year-old Joe Dunderdale, third on the senior rankings this year, set a PB of 75.73m in winning the England under-23 title last weekend. Meanwhile, the remarkable 50-year-old Roald Bradstock is fifth on the UK list with 72.35m. He competed in his first Olympic trials in 1984, the year he went on to finish seventh in Los Angeles.


» The latest issue of Athletics Weekly, out today, features an in-depth preview to this weekend’s Aviva 2012 Trials.

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