The summer season cranks up a gear with this weekend’s British Universities and Colleges Sport athletics championships in Bedford

The outdoor season’s curtain-raising British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Championships will take place in Bedford this weekend (April 30-May 2), and has a plethora of British internationals and defending champions down to compete.

CJ Ujah, one of six Brits to have ever run a sub-10 100m, is on the entry list for the 200m while training partner Ojie Edoburun, European junior champion over the 100m, is due to compete over the shorter distance.

In the women’s sprints, Commonwealth 200m bronze medallist Bianca Williams is down to run the 100m. The current 100m and 200m champion, Adeline Gouenon, will defend her titles while British junior international twins Laviai and Lina Nielsen are confirmed to compete in the 200m and 400m, respectively.

David Omoregie, the European under-23 and BUCS indoor champion, and Lucy Hatton, the European indoor silver medallist, start as strong favourites to win the 110m and 100m hurdles. World Championship semi-finalist Meghan Beesley is the star attraction in the 400m hurdles while last year’s top two, Jack Houghton and Jacob Paul, will renew their rivalry over the distance.

Jess Judd, last year’s 800m champion, is focusing on the 1500m this year and faces a strong field including European junior champion, Bobby Clay.

European under-23 cross country champion Jonny Davies and Imperial College’s Alberto Sanchez are the top runners in the 5000m, but face a test from the UK’s No.3 10km road runner Graham Rush in the 10,000m. Jenny Nesbitt heads into the 5000m in strong form after a good winter season and Birmingham’s Rebecca Murray looks a likely winner over 25 laps.

GB international Jazmin Sawyers is in action to defend her long jump title from 2015, and Joshua Olawore is back to secure a fourth straight BUCS long jump win.

Brunel pair Jake Storey and Thomas Howlett look well placed to contend for high jump gold after claiming a one-two in the indoors and Kate Anson is back in Bedford to win a second successive outdoor title.

British junior record-holder and European junior champion Adam Hague (pictured) is the runaway favourite to win the pole vault. Taylor Campbell is in good form ahead of the hammer competition, having set a new 70.88m PB with the 7.26kg hammer this year.

» See next week’s AW magazine for full BUCS coverage