Morgan Lake in action in the high jump at the British Championships (Getty Images) © Copyright
Report Birmingham, UK

Lake leaps to British high jump title

Morgan Lake provided one of the highlights of the opening day of the British Championships in Birmingham on Saturday (1), winning the high jump with a PB of 1.96m.

The 2014 double world U20 champion cleared the height on her second attempt and went on to have three tries at a would-be British record of 1.99m.

“It feels amazing,” she said after moving to third on the British all-time list and securing her place on the host nation's team for the IAAF World Championships London 2017. “I am over the moon. After I jumped 1.96m I was so shocked, it was tough to focus on 1.99m. I felt good coming into today; I knew it was in there.

“My first two jumps at 1.99m felt good but then I just ran out and felt exhausted. I am looking forward to the Anniversary Games and a few Diamond Leagues. And then all the focus is on the World Champs. Going into them I feel more confident every week. I had a bit of a disappointment in Lille last week so I was kind of doubting myself a little, but I’ve got more confidence after today.”

Reece Prescod delivered the biggest win of his career, taking the men’s 100m title to secure his place on the British team for the IAAF World Championships London 2017.

Prescod finished strongly to squeeze past 2014 European champion James Dasaolu in the closing stages, equalling his season’s best of 10.09 in still conditions.

“I feel great,” said the 21-year-old, who last year set PBs of 10.04 and 20.38. “To come here and get a medal was always the aim. I am so ecstatic now that I managed to produce in the final with a season’s best. Now I hope I can get even faster. I was confident going into today but I was also nervous because I knew that everyone was running well. I now want to stay healthy, get stronger and make sure everything is good and ready for London.”

Dasaolu finished second in 10.11 to secure his spot on the team for London. Chijindu Ujah did not start in the final having run a windy 9.98 (2.8m/s) in the semifinals.

Just minutes earlier, the Birmingham crowd were treated to an equally thrilling women’s 100m final with the three medallists separated by just seven hundredths of a second.

European indoor champion Asha Philip got off to a strong start and held on to win in 11.21 (-1.3m/s), having clocked a season’s best of 11.19 (-0.9m/s) in the semifinals. Fellow Olympic 4x100m bronze medallist Daryll Neita got off to a relatively slow start but came charging through at the end to take second place in 11.25.

“I wanted to run fast in the final, but I was just so stressed out about getting through the heat,” said Philip. “Coming in without the qualifying time wasn’t ideal, but I got that out the way in the heat. I wasn’t sure what was going to happen in that final. The depth is great to have and I’m just happy to be mixing it.”

Returning after two years disrupted by injury, 2014 European 100m bronze medallist Ashleigh Nelson finished third in 11.28 after clocking an 11.27 season’s best in her semifinal. British record-holder Dina Asher-Smith, also returning from injury having broken her foot in February, finished sixth in the final in 11.53, having posted a season’s best of 11.41 in the semifinal.

Holly Bradsaw won her ninth senior national title in the pole vault, clearing 4.45m at the first time of asking to secure her spot on the team for London, while Olympic bronze medallist Sophie Hitchon found 67.58m enough to take another British hammer title.

Olympic finalist Andrew Butchart was the class act in the men’s 5000m final and successfully defended his title in 13.50.56. Triple jump winner Ben Williams came within nine centimetres of the World Championships qualifying standard, the 2009 world U18 champion bounding out to 16.71m in the fourth round.

Some of the biggest surprises of the day came in the women’s 400m heats, which essentially formed a semifinal round with only eight to advance to the final.

Christine Ohuruogu, the 2008 Olympic and two-time world champion, was way off the pace in her heat, finishing a distant third in 54.41 – exactly five seconds shy of her British record – to miss out on the final. European junior champion Laviai Nielsen, Olympic 4x400m bronze medallist Kelly Massey and 2013 world U18 champion Sabrina Bakare were also among the casualties.

Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF