Can Mo make the qualifying time? Is Muir unbeatable? Who’s the best of our middle-distance men? These questions will be answered this weekend at a British Championships teeming with talent and intrigue.
Here’s our pick of the races to watch.
Men’s 10,000m (Friday, 9:35pm)
Sir Mo has not had an easy time of late. In the 10,000m European Cup earlier this month, he came a disappointing eighth, more than 20 seconds behind the the qualification time. Now 38, and having returned to the track relatively recently, you could be forgiven for thinking his best running years might now be behind him.
But it’s not all over for the reigning 10,000m Olympic champion. Such is Farah’s status in running that he has been offered one more chance to qualify, with a special invitational race on Friday night.
Farah himself is the first to admit that it won’t be easy. He told The Guardian that although he believed he could qualify, it would ‘take courage and balls to be able to go out there and mix it with the guys.’
Hard it might be, but judging by Farah’s recent activity on social media, he’s not going to go down without a fight. He’s been working hard, including a spot of altitude training at Font Romeu in France. Whether he qualifies or not, Sir Mo’s race will get the Championships off to a flying start.
Men’s 800m (Sunday, 3pm)
The standard of the men’s 800m field at this year’s Championships is simply exceptional. In recent months, a number of runners have started to test and even break the records set in the 1980s by exceptional British middle-distance competitors like Seb Coe and Steve Ovett. Elliot Giles managed to break Coe’s UK indoor record back in February, before young talent Oliver Dustin went one further this month with 1:43.82 in Nice.
Also in with a chance are Finley Mclear, Ben Pattison, Kyle Langford and Guy Learmonth. There’s a lot of quality out there, and even the more established runners will have to work hard to pull out in front in what may well turn out to be the race of the Championships.
Women’s 800m (Sunday, 2:50pm)
Like the men’s event, this is set to be a gripping, highly competitive race. Training partners Jemma Reekie and Laura Muir are both hotly tipped, although it’s not clear if Muir will opt for the 1500m over the 800m, as that's the discipline she's better known for.
Beyond those two, the field is packed with contenders. Alexandra Baker, Keely Hodgkinson and Adelle Tracey have all run within the qualifying time of 1:59.50 this year, while Emily Baker has come tantalisingly close. Some are also pointing to European under-20 champion Isabelle Boffey who is in excellent form, having run a PB of 2:01.24 in Marseille at the start of June.
Men’s 100m (Saturday, 6:25pm)
The Brit who comes out top in the 100m this weekend might have a shot at glory in Tokyo. With reigning world champion Christian Coleman not able to take part, and Noah Lyles finishing a disappointing seventh at the US trials, the field is more open than expected.
And this weekend’s 100m could be anyone’s race, too. CJ Ujah is in excellent form, with a strong run at the Golden Gala in Florence earlier this month. Zharnel Hughes, Reece Prescod and Adam Gemili all ran the qualifying time in 2019, and will be looking to lay down another marker this weekend.
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