Athletes achieve a number of qualifying marks during the team match

Seb Rodger (pictured above) led some good early-season performances on Sunday at the Loughborough International, by now in its 60th staging having established a reputation as the domestic curtain-raiser for Britain’s top athletes.

Rodger matched the European qualifying standard of 49.80 in the 400m hurdles. The Rio Olympian, whose best is 49.19 from 2013, said: “It’s nice to go sub-50. I know it should be normal, but I’m quite inconsistent with my times, so to run like that I’m very happy.”

In a top-drawer race, WSEH’s Jacob Paul was second in 50.20 and Loughborough’s Niall Flannery was third in 50.99.

European under-23 silver medallist Dan Rowden closed in on the Berlin mark for the 800m with a winning 1:47.01. The recent BUCS winner was satisfied with the result as he has been trying to fit in training around exams.

“I’m very happy with that,” he said. “Preparation hasn’t been great. I’ve had exams for the last two weeks and I’ve got an exam tomorrow.”

Commonwealth bronze medallist Mark Dry took victory in the hammer with his last throw, registering 72.35m to deny Taylor Campbell (72.31m). The Scot, who is throwing in pain as he awaits hip surgery, said: “These results are good for someone with one leg essentially.”

Luke Cutts, a Gold Coast bronze medallist in the pole vault, had first-time clearances of 5.10m and 5.30m to take victory for England. Charlie Myers of British Universities also cleared 5.30m, but his failure at 5.10m left him in second.

Jess Judd LIA2018 by Mark Shearman

Another returning from the Commonwealths was 400m runner Rabah Yousif. Disappointed not to make the final in Gold Coast, the Newham & Essex Beagles athlete was in better shape here, winning the guest 400m in 45.74. He later returned to anchor an invitational team to victory in the 4x400m relay.

Allan Smith enjoyed a perfect record up to securing high jump victory with 2.23m. Success at 2.13m, 2.17m, 2.20m had been enough to see him ahead of second-placed Chris Baker.

Daryll Neita of England won the match 100m in 11.55 ahead of a PB and World U20s qualifier for Kristal Awuah of 11.58.

In the 200m, Scotland’s Beth Dobbin set a PB of 23.14 in the match event, while 400m specialist Emily Diamond stepped down to win a guest race in 23.49.

In a repeat of the BUCS Championships, Mari Smith beat Mhairi Hendry into second in the 800m, clocking a PB of 2:03.23. Behind them Isabella Boffey (2:04.00) and Emily Williams (2:06.22) set qualifiers for the World U20s and European Youths respectively.

Molly Caudery took the pole vault with a 4.35m clearance before having three unsuccessful attempts at a European qualifier of 4.45m.

Jessica Judd (pictured above) won the 3000m in 9:05.16, while Amelia Quirk in second gained a World U20s qualifier of 9:11.20.

There was also a World U20s qualifier in the 3000m steeplechase as Holly Page clocked a winning 10:13.98.

Jason Nicholson did likewise in the 100m hurdles guest race, running a triumphant 13.60 over the shorter hurdles.

At the end of a baking hot day, England were announced winners in the six-way match over British Universities, Wales, Scotland, GB Juniors and Loughborough University.

» See the May 24 AW magazine for further coverage