Standards are easier in many events than for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, but the team looks set to be smaller
England Athletics (EA) has released its selection criteria for the Commonwealth Games to be held in Gold Coast in 2018.
The federation intends to send the biggest team possible based on the quota of 75 allowed by Commonwealth Games England (CGE).
However, an England team of 129 was picked for Glasgow 2014 and included 11 para athletes, while 91 were chosen for Delhi in 2010. The para programme for Gold Coast is double that for Glasgow with 12 events. The quota of 75 does not include para athletes and this additional amount is yet to be confirmed.
Athletes will have from January 1 2017 to September 30 2017 to gain the standards – except for the marathon, where the selection window began on September 1, 2016. The Games will take place on April 4-15, 2018.
To be considered for selection, athletes will need to achieve the respective standards twice during that period in most events. Athletes who have gained the standard once may also be nominated to CGE if they are deemed capable of winning a medal. However, in the case of the combined events, marathon, 10,000m and 5000m, the standard will only need to be met once.
The standards for most events are easier than the equivalent for Glasgow 2014, but for some disciplines are tougher. The women’s triple jump standard is 13.85m (up from 13.50m) – just 24 centimetres less than Laura Samuel’s silver medal-winning mark in Glasgow. The female long jumpers will have to leap 6.60m (up from 6.40m), which would have been good enough for gold in 2014.
The men’s marathon standard is 2:14 – three minutes quicker than for Glasgow. Apart from Kenya and South Africa, who would be able to name a maximum of three athletes for the 26-mile event, only 12 Commonwealth athletes – three of them Scottish – have run quicker than that in 2016.
The men’s triple jump standard of 16.80m has been achieved by just four athletes from the Commonwealth in 2016.
Attainment of the standards will not guarantee selection and team officials will take into account other factors, including Commonwealth rankings and head-to-heads. No official trial event will be held.
The team will be nominated to CGE on October 16 2017 for final ratification.
The criteria adds: “CGE may be offered ‘named athlete attraction’ places by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF)/Local Organising Committee for a small number of athletes. These places may be additional to the stated quota of 75.”
EA will produce a separate selection policy for para-athletes when it has received more information on the process from the CGF.
Earlier this month, in announcing it had secured funding of £4 milllion from Sport England, CGE said the backing “means that Team England will be able to send a full quota of around 400 athletes”, which would roughly match that for two years ago.
Gold Coast 2018 will comprise 18 sports, including 38 para medal events in what will be the largest ever para-sport programme for the “Friendly Games”.
The standards can be seen in full here.