Six more athletes clinched automatic selection for the IAAF World Indoor Championships Portland 2016 on the second day of the British Indoor Championships in Sheffield, perhaps the most surprising being Adelle Tracey over four laps of the track on Sunday (28).
Predictions were that victory in the last event of the afternoon, the women’s 800m, would go to Lynsey Sharp or Jenny Meadows, both former European champions. But both finished outside the top two.
Meadows, as usual, set the pace (28.65, 59.90 1:31.26), with Sharp at her shoulder and Tracey tucked in behind.
Sharp eased ahead on the last back straight, but her lead was short-lived as Tracey, a torch-bearer at the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony, took over in the final 40 metres to win in 2:02.99. Leah Barrow came from way back to snatch second place in a personal best of 2:03.18.
Another Briton who clinched her place on the plane to Portland was Tiffany Porter, who now has the chance for a third successive World Indoor Championship 60m hurdles medal.
After being the fastest in the heats in 8.02, Porter won the final clearly in 7.98, though admitted: “I didn’t finish very well."
Second place went to European indoor bronze medallist Serita Solomon in 8.05 while Lucy Hatton, after running 8.03 in her heat, had a poor run in the final and had to be satisfied with third in 8.15.
In the women’s 1500m, Hannah England also won a ticket for Portland with a win in 4:15.44, though she said she’d leave it to her coach to decide if she should make the trip. Stephanie Twell similarly sealed her selection with a win in the 3000m in 8:54.99 and she may be joined by Josephine Moultrie, whose reward for setting the pace was a qualifying standard of her own when finishing second in 8:58.75.
Pole vaulter Luke Cutts, the only man over 5.60m, and longer jumper Jazmin Sawyers, who reached an indoor personal best of 6.67m, each won their events well.
The latter beat a slightly off-form Lorraine Ugen, with the IAAF World Indoor Tour winner only managing 6.60m for second place. World silver medallist Shara Proctor missed the championships with a sore hip.
Boswoth brings British race walking to the fore
Race walking events are no longer contested at the IAAF World Indoor Championships but Tom Bosworth could make an impact at the IAAF World Race Walking Team Championships Rome 2016 in May.
Here, in a solo effort, the former circus performer produced lap after lap in the 3000m race walk between 43.0 and 44.6, passing halfway in 5:31.3.
At this point, it became quite clear that he would smash his own national indoor record and world lead of 11:15.81, and urged the already enthusiastic crowd to get even more involved with two laps remaining at the English Institute of Sport. His last circuit was covered in exactly 40.0 for a final time of 10:58.21.
“I just wanted to come here and entertain and show that it’s not just slow people walking round in circles,” he said, after a post-finish celebration which was reminiscent of world and Olympic steeplechase champion Ezekiel Kemboi. “You want to make it memorable so that people will come back and watch it."
The British women’s 3000m race walk record was also broken earlier in the day, when Bethan Davies lowered her own figures to 12:44.99. Like Bosworth, she is coached by former UK international Andi Drake.
Unlike the walks, the much anticipated men’s high jump clash between Robbie Grabarz and new 2.36m-performer Chris Baker proved to be anti-climactic and ended at just 2.29m, which Baker cleared first time for victory.
Grabarz, having cleared 2.26m, failed with his first attempt at that height and then opted to take his remaining efforts at 2.31m, but neither he or Baker could clear that height though the former was nearest with his first try.
Mark Butler for the IAAF