2023 UK Athletics Championships Preview
This weekend the UK Athletics Championships will return to Manchester, with many Welsh athletes heading north to contest for British Titles. The Championships will also host the World Athletics Trials, with many Welsh athletes hoping to qualify.
Last year's Championships were filled with Welsh success, with Jeremiah Azu becoming the fastest Welshman ever, Hannah Brier setting a new Welsh Record over 100m, Adele Nicoll taking the British shot put title and Bethan Davies retaining her race walking British Title.
The Championships will get underway with the men’s 100m heats, which has strong Welsh representation. Returning from representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the European Team Championships, reigning British Champion Jeremiah Azu (Cardiff Athletics) will be looking to retain his title. He will be joined by fellow Welshmen, Dewi Hammond (Cardiff Athletics), Makoye Kampangele (Cardiff Athletics) and recently crowned Welsh Champion Joshua Brown (Cardiff Athletics).
Also taking to the track on Saturday morning are Welsh 100m hurdles Champion Lauren Evans (Cardiff Athletics) and Grace Morgan (Cardiff Archers) who will both be competing in the women’s 100m hurdles. Evans will also compete in the women’s high jump, having cleared 1.73 during the indoor season.
Taking to the field on Saturday is Patrick Swan (Cornwall AC) who will be looking to upgrade his shot put bronze medal from last year's Championships. Swan recently set a new Personal Best distance of 17.87m at the Welsh Senior Championships in Cardiff and claimed the title. Continuing with the field events, Welsh Champion Amber Simpson (Wrexham AC) will be in contention in the women’s hammer throw, Simpson has broken the Welsh record three times already this year.
The Brier siblings will be in action over 400m, after both recently winning the Welsh titles at the Welsh Senior Championships 2 weeks ago in the same event. Hannah Brier (Swansea Harriers) broke the Welsh 100m Record at last year’s Championships but will be in action in the 400m and 200m this year. Whilst Joe Brier (Swansea Harriers) will be looking to upgrade his fourth-place finish from last year’s competition.
Also taking to the track in the women’s 400m is Seren Bundy-Davies (Trafford) who had a stunning run over 400m at the Nuneaton Open Summer Special, setting a new season best of 52.64 whilst also running 51.87 in the 4 x 400m GB relay at the Meeting EAP d'Annecy.
Melissa Courtney-Bryant (Poole AC) will be looking to continue a great run of form, after setting an incredible new personal best time of 4:00.45 earlier this year and beating Laura Muir at the Stockholm Diamond League just last week. Whilst there’s also solid Welsh representation in the men’s event with Piers Copeland (Pontypridd Roadents), James Heneghan (Pontypridd Roadents) both taking to the track. Copeland recently ran 1:47.98 over 800m at the BMC in Watford, whilst Heneghan recently set a new personal best time of 3:40.54 in Sweeden in preparation for the Championships.
To round off Saturday’s field events, James Tomlinson (Birchfield Harriers) will be competing in the men’s discus, after also setting a new personal best at the Welsh Championships, with a distance of 57.30m.
After recently winning her first Welsh title Rhiannon Hawker (Cardiff Athletics) will be taking on the 800m. Hawker recently set a new personal best time of 2:04.54 at the BMC in Watford last weekend. She will be joined by fellow Welsh athlete Rachel McClay (Bracknell AC), who has run a season best of 2:06.61 this season.
In the final distance race of the day, Osian Perrin (Menai Track & Field) will be in action in a strong men’s 5000m. Jonathan Davies leads the rankings, but Jack Rowe, Charles Hicks, Charles Wheeler, and Ian Crowe-Wright have all ran sub 13:30. Perrin claimed a brilliant silver medal over 3000m at the UK Athletics Indoor Championships earlier this year.
Sunday will get underway with the Women’s 5000m race walk, with reigning British Champion Bethan Davies (Cardiff Athletics), current Welsh Champion Heather Warner (Pembrokeshire Harriers) and British U20 3000m race walk Champion Gracie Griffiths (Pembrokeshire Harriers) all taking to the track. Shortly followed by the men’s 5000m race walk which will see Guy Thomas (Tonbridge AC) in action.
Day two will see reigning British Champion Adele Nicoll (Birchfield Harriers) in action in the women’s shot put. Nicoll recently retained her Welsh Title last month, throwing 17.10m at the Welsh Championships a few weeks ago. After recently representing Great Britain and Northern Ireland at the European Team Championships Sarah Omoregie (Cardiff Athletics) will also be in action in the women’s shot put.
After claiming the Welsh title just a few weeks earlier, Thomas Wilcock (Northampton AC) will be hoping for further success in the men’s 110m hurdles.
Osian Jones (Liverpool Harriers) will be in action in the men’s hammer throw, Jones has thrown just shy of 70m so far this season, recording a Season Best of 69.12m.
Double Welsh title holder Hannah Longden (Cardiff Athletics) will feature in a competitive 200m field, which will see her face fellow Welsh athlete Hannah Brier (Swansea Harriers) and also the likes of Dina Asher-Smith and Daryll Neita.
Thomas Walley (Wrexham AAC) will be competing in the men’s pole vault, Walley has cleared a height of 5.11m this season, 10cm shy of his Personal Best clearance of 5.21m.
Commonwealth Games athlete Beth Kidger (Brighton Phoenix) will be taking on the 5000m. Kidger has ran a Season Best of 16:02.34 so far this season.
After a strong performance at the Welsh Championships Rebecca Chapman (Cardiff Athletics) will be taking to the field in the women’s long jump, after jumping a season best distance of 6.18m.
Keep-up-to-date with the action on BBC Red Button, BBC iPlayer, and the BBC Sport website and app.