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Mitchell-Blake wins British 200m title on day of sharp controversy

A great weekend of athletics action was capped off in electric style as Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake drew out a pivotal final surge to snatch the victory from Adam Gemili in the men’s 200m.

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Gemili’s presence in the final was threatened earlier on when a failure to get out of his blocks at the gun in the first men’s 200m heat saw him initially disqualified. However the decision was soon rescinded as Gemili breezed through the heat to set up a mouth watering final which fully delivered, with Mitchell-Blake picking up a hugely impressive victory with a 20.24 championship record.

 

The women’s race meanwhile saw a shock victory for Beth Dobbin, who stunned the Alexandra Stadium and herself after edging a mere 0.01 seconds ahead of Bianca Williams to take gold in a 22.59 course record, while Jodie Williams took third in 22.78. The new British champion can now look forward to a first British best at the European Championships, something she had been dreaming of for some time.

 

Wales’ Bethan Davies kicked off the track action for the day with a comfortable victory in the women’s 5000m racewalk, with the heat making it “tough” for her to replicate last year’s British record, settling instead for a strong win in 22.04.98 ahead of Abigail Jennings (26.00.31) and Medeline Shott (26.39.76).

 

Tom Bosworth had to dig deep for a fifth successive men’s 5000m Race-Walk title, pulling away from training partner Callum Wilkinson to take the title in 19.01.20. The Commonwealth silver medallist admitted it had been “a struggle” coming off the back of his Gold Coast campaign, but insists that he is still “going in the right direction” leading up to Europeans.

A thrilling men’s long jump saw mere centimetres separated the all the medallists as Tim Duckworth snatched the gold in 8.00m ahead of Dan Bramble with 7.99m and Feron Sayers in 7.98m.

It was a triumphant return to the 400 metre hurdles for former World champion Dai Greene, as a hugely exciting race saw him emerge victorious with 50.06 in a close three way battle with Jack Green and Seb Rodger, with the Welshman now nailed on for a first international competition in four years.

A jubilant celebration from Steph Twell summed up everything in the women’s 5000m final, as she was pushed all the way in a gritty final sprint to hold off the on rushing Melissa Courtney and Eilish McColgan to once again take the gold with 16.07.24.

It is now three golds on the trot for European bronze medallist Elliot Giles, as a very close race emerged from a huge pack of runners in the home straight for a confidence boosting victory, edging out youngster Daniel Rowden (1.50.37) and Guy Learmonth (1.50.43) with 1.50.28. After a pulsating start to her race Meghan Beesley held on to take the women’s 400m Hurdles gold, clocking 55.70 to beat the fast finishing Kirsten McCaslan, who also just manage to grab the European qualifying mark with 56.48.

 

A hugely uplifting victory in the women’s 400m for Anyika Onuora saw her pushed all the way down the home straight, as the on rushing Lavia Nielsen threatened to cut her lead short. However, Onoura but held out for a gutsy victory in 51.95 over Lavia Nielsen, who just lost out with 51.99. There were no doubts about the winner in the men’s race however, as Matt Hudson-Smith breezed ahead to the win in 44.68, leaving Rabah Yousif to push for silver in 45.49 ahead of youngster Cameron Chalmers with 45.79.

 

Rosie Clarke was dominant in the women’s 3000m steeplechase as she stormed ahead of Iona Lake (10.08.61) and Emily Moyes (10.18.00) to take gold in 9.45.83.

 

There was also a strong win for Laura Whittingham in the women’s Javelin, going ahead from the off and making sure of the gold with a 55.55m season’s best in the final throw, while Emma Hamplett held off Bethan Rees for silver in 49.54m. Laura Muir was simply too strong in the women’s 800m with a subtle kick in the final 250m seeing her storm ahead to the victory in 2.01.22. Behind her, the battle for European qualification ended in just one athlete nailed on for Berlin, as a signature final kick from Shelayna Oskan-Clarke saw her pip the former leader Adelle Tracey, while Alexandra Bell and Lynsey Sharp finished close behind.

 

It was also business as usual for world 60m hurdles indoor champion Andy Pozzi, cruising through the heat and powering ahead in the final for a win in 13.61 ahead of David King (13.81) and Khai Riley-La Borde. Once again Chris O’Hare did just enough to grab the win in a frantic 1500m finish, with Jake Wightman, Charlie Grice and Josh Kerr all baying for the gold.

 

However, O’Hare held his nerve for the win in 3.46.72 ahead of Wightman while a surprisingly strong finish from Neil Gourley grabbed him the bronze. There was devastation m meanwhile for Sarah McDonald in the women’s 1500m, who had to be consoled after losing out in a fierce final sprint between her, Laura Weightman and Jemma Reekie, with Weightman finding the extra edge to retain her title in gritty fashion with 4.08.80. Sophie Hitchon also demonstrated her huge hammer pedigree ahead of the European Championships, leading throughout as she eased to the win in a huge course record of 72.02m, while Jessica Mayho threw 62.51m to see off Rebecca Keating for silver.

After a shaky start Amelia Strickler managed to come out on top in the women’s shot put, taking the lead in the second throw and pulling away with a winning throw of 17.22m to see off Sophie McKinna (17.10m) and Rachel Wallader (16.71m).

The highlight of the day’s field action came in the women’s long jump however, which reached fever pitch early on as Lorraine Ugen delivered huge course record and personal best of 7.05m for the win.

A brutal battle for silver meanwhile went right down to the wire, bringing the best out of Jazmin Sawyers as she leaped to a 6.86m personal best to take the silver from Shara Proctor, who came thir with 6.81m.

Despite delivering the performance of a lifetime in the men’s high jump David Smith was humbled by Chris Baker merely on fouls, with both jumping 2.26m, while a very competitive battle for bronze also saw the slightly more consistent Allan Smith clinch third.

Once again Jade Lally turned on the style in the women’s discus, as she went through the gears to go ahead after the third throw with 55.81, before bagging 56.84 straight after to take the win ahead of Kirsty Law, who threw season’s best and Phoebe Dowson (53.05).

A first British Championship gold was clinched by Charlie Myers in the men’s Pole Vault, seeing off the likes of Adam Hague (5.45m) and Harry Coppell (5.35m), with multiple winner Luke Cutts missing out on the medals while Hague and Myers officially booked their European Championship places.

There was devastation m meanwhile for Sarah McDonald in the women’s 1500m, who had to be consoled after losing out in a fierce final sprint between her, Laura Weightman and Jemma Reekie, with Weightman finding the extra edge to retain her title in gritty fashion with 4.08.80.

Sophie Hitchon also demonstrated her huge hammer pedigree ahead of the European Championships, leading throughout as she eased to the win in a huge course record of 72.02m, while Jessica Mayho threw 62.51m to see off Rebecca Keating for silver.

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