The multiple Olympic gold medallists spoke with the press ahead of the Golden Spike meeting in Czech Republic
GB picks development squad for Euro Team ChampsJune 15, 2017
A total of 14 athletes make senior debuts in British team for Lille this month
Sophie Hitchon, the Olympic hammer bronze medallist, leads the GB team for the European Team Championships in Lille on June 23-25, but even keen fans of the sport might struggle to recognise all the names in the squad after British Athletics named a ‘development squad’ that includes 14 athletes who are making their senior international debuts for their country.
Many of the sport’s bigger stars have been given the choice of preparing for the following weekend’s British Team Trials in Birmingham for the IAAF World Championships. So British Athletics has taken the opportunity to blood a number of up-and-coming athletes, some of whom are barely out of the junior ranks.
This is not the first time British Athletics has sent a development squad to this event and the strategy has been a growing trend in recent years. There are still, however, a number of experienced athletes such as Hitchon, plus long jumper Jazmin Sawyers, Luke Cutts in the pole vault, Jade Lally in the discus and in-form 1500m man Jake Wightman.
Shara Proctor, meanwhile, switches from the long jump to triple jump, while the relay squads feature athletes like Asha Philip, Desiree Henry and Eilidh Doyle.
Neil Black, the British Athletics performance director, said: “I’m excited and pleased with the team we have selected. It’s a look towards the future. Many of these athletes should be in the mix for Tokyo 2020 and beyond in 2024. So it will be interesting to see where they stand against some of Europe’s top names.
“With the British Team Trials and qualification for the 2017 IAAF World Championships in London taking place the following weekend in Birmingham, it has allowed us the somewhat unique opportunity to choose a largely developmental team.
“Obviously we still want to see a great British team performance in France, but we also need to give our most experienced athletes the best possible build-up going into a home World Championships – so everyone on the World Class Performance Plan was given the option to compete in Lille or concentrate on Trials.
“I’m glad so many of those we expect to be selected in the field events for London have made themselves available for this event. We will be looking for them to pick up a large number of points for the team. Jumpers and throwers especially have limited opportunities to compete at elite level, so to have two top class competitions, first in France then back home in Birmingham, over two weekends in a row will be good for them.”
The GB team is:
100m: Harry Aikines-Aryeetey
200m: Sam Miller
400m: Dwayne Cowan
800m: James Bowness
1500m: Jake Wightman
3000m: Marc Scott
5000m: Nick Goolab
3000m steeplechase: Rob Mullett
110m hurdles: David Omoregie
400m hurdles: Jack Green
High jump: Chris Baker
Pole vault: Luke Cutts
Long jump: Dan Bramble
Triple jump: Ben Williams
Shot: Scott Lincoln
Discus: Zane Duquemin
Hammer: Nick Miller
Javelin: Matti Mortimore
4x100m: Zharnel Hughes, Reece Prescod, Danny Talbot, Chijindu Ujah, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey
4x400m: Delano Williams, Rabah Yousif, Jarryd Dunn, Cameron Chalmers
100m: Corinne Humphreys
200m: Finette Agyapong
400m: Mary Iheke
800m: Katie Snowden
1500m: Rhianwedd Price
3000m: Harriet Knowles-Jones
5000m: Calli Thackery
3000m steeplechase: Lennie Waite
100m hurdles: Alicia Barrett
400m hurdles: Eilidh Doyle
High jump: Morgan Lake
Pole vault: Sally Peake
Long jump: Jazmin Sawyers
Triple jump: Shara Proctor
Shot: Amelia Strickler
Discus: Jade Lally
Hammer: Sophie Hitchon
Javelin: Jo Blair
4x100m: Asha Philip, Desiree Henry, Daryll Neita, Shannon Hylton
4x400m: Emily Diamond, Anyika Onuora, Laviai Nielsen, Kirsten McAslan, Zoey Clark, Eilidh Doyle
» This post has been updated since the original team announcement to reflect the withdrawals of Imani Lansiquot, Richard Kilty, Adam Gemili and Matthew Hudson-Smith, while Matti Mortimore replaces James Whiteaker in the javelin and Reece Prescod is added to the men’s 4x100m squad