The Great Britain and Northern Ireland U20 team has been announced today for the Loughborough International which is taking place on Sunday 22 May. With the World Athletics U20 Championships taking place in Cali, Colombia this summer, selection provides an excellent opportunity for athletes to gain valuable experience in an international environment.
Many are chasing qualification times and distances for the World Athletics showpiece event, and Loughborough provides an exciting opportunity to compete against top senior athletes from all around the UK. The GB&NI team of teens will take on full international representation from England, Scotland and Wales plus a Loughborough University Select.
World number two Abigail Ives has already comfortably achieved the World Championship selection standard of 2:05.00 in the 800m. The 18-year-old enjoyed a stunning early season performance with a two second personal best of 2:02.01 at the BMC Grand Prix in Birmingham at the weekend.
Joy Eze brings strong international experience to the team having won a 100m bronze medal at last summer’s European Under-20 Championship in Tallinn. Her PB of 11.44 from that event betters the time she must post for Cali of 11.60. Eze has been selected for the 100m and the 4x100m relay.
Also selected is Success Eduan in the women’s 200m and 4x100m relay. Eduan went inside the World Championship qualifying standard indoors with her time of 23.44 to win the UK Indoor U20 title in February.
In the field events, the women’s team has named exciting prospect in pole vault, Sophie Ashurst. The Sale Harrier has enjoyed steady progress so far in the early stages of the season reaching 4.15m, to equal the World Championship qualifying standard. However, Ashurst has her sights set high in a bid to replicate the 4.21m she achieved last summer to win the English Schools Championship.
In the U20 men’s team, Michael Onilogbo will be hoping for benign conditions to enjoy a scorching start to his outdoor season over 100m. He was very much the man to beat indoors, winning the indoor England Athletics age-group title over 60m with a world top 10 time of 6.69.
Also out to impress will be Johnny Livingstone in the 3000m. He is tantalisingly close to the World U20 qualifying standard of 8:10.00. The teenager from Devon has sliced a significant chunk off his previous PB by 19 seconds in the past 10 months. His best of 8.11.43 is less than 1.50 seconds from the time required for a ticket to Cali.
The men’s field events will be another exciting lure in Loughborough and in the pole vault, Lazarus Benjamin will be keen to build on his international success of last summer. The 18-year-old placed fifth in the European U20 Championships and is now a consistent performer over 5m in competition. With a PB of 5.10m under his belt, the teenager is looking to successfully raise the bar by another 10cm to qualify for Colombia.
In the throws, Owen Merrett is chasing 22cm in the hammer to secure the magic number of 70m to qualify for Cali. Merrett is still a youngster compared to many in this age-group. He is currently ranked 16th in the world and desperate to show his might with a good performance against senior athletes in Loughborough.
Trevor Painter, Team Leader, said: “Loughborough is always an exciting meeting, early in the calendar when we can see how athletes are progressing for the season ahead. Many of these athletes have not represented GB&NI before and it’s always an enjoyable phone-call to make, to deliver the good news. I look forward to seeing who will rise to the challenge and throw their hat into the ring as we look forward to selecting a Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team for Cali.”
The Loughborough International is a key competition opportunity in the British Athletics Olympic Performance Pathway which aims to provide opportunities to prepare, confirm and support promising young athletes on their journey towards future Olympic success. The event, which gets underway at 11:00am on Sunday, will see teams from England, Scotland, Wales and Loughborough Students also fielding squads with guests also competing in the individual and relay races.
The Great Britain and Northern Ireland Under 20 team selected for the Loughborough International:
100m: Joy Eze (Michael Donnelly Gateshead)
200m: Success Eduan (Anita Richardson, Sale Harriers Manchester)
400m: Isabelle Skelton (Bill Boyd, Corby)
800m: Abigail Ives (Luke Gunn, Basildon)
1500m: Pippa Roessler (Mick Woods, Aldershot, Farnham & District)
3000m: Alice Garner (Mick Woods, Aldershot, Farnham & District)
3000m Steeplechase: Jessica Hatch (Shireen Higgins, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow)
100m Hurdles: Marli Jessop (Scott Grace, Shaftesbury Barnet)
400m Hurdles: Rachel Callan (Jackie Alexander & Anne Stewart, Giffnock North)
High Jump: Eloise Hind (Marcia Marriott, Oxford City)
Pole Vault: Sophie Ashurst (Andy Ashurst, Sale Harriers Manchester)
Long Jump: Molly Palmer (Lukasz Zawila, Charnwood)
Triple Jump: Georgina Scoot (Richard Derrick, Torbay)
Shot Put: Teddy Tchoudja (John Scott, Shettleston)
Hammer: Jessica Charlie Bennett (David Callaway, Southampton)
Discus: Zara Obamakinwa (Mark Chapman, Blackheath & Bromley)
Javelin: Sophie Hamilton (Ken Holmes, Bristol & West)
4x100m Relay: Alyson Bell (William Glasgow, Giffnock North), Success Eduan (Anita Richardson, Sale), Joy Eze (Michael Donnelly, Gateshead), Brooke Ironside (Zac Kerin, Bournemouth), Emmanuella Kone (Helen Patricia James, Cardiff) and Sophie Walton (Trevor Williams, Ashton-Under-Lyne)
4 x 400m Relay: Yemi Mary John (Alan James, Woodford Green Essex Ladies), Isabelle Skelton (Bill Boyd, Corby), Poppy Malik (Grant Barber, Notts), Rachel Callan (Jackie Alexander & Anne Stewart, Giffnock North) and Sophia Vidak (Norrie Hay, Falkirk)
100m: Michael Onilogbo (Carl Graham, Newham & Essex Beagles)
200m: Jason Kalala (Nat Senior, Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets)
400m: Cam McGregor (James Wright, Rugby & Northampton)
800m: Samuel Reardon (Peter Venus, Tynedale)
1500m: Justin Davies (Martin Rush, Team Bath)
3000m: Johnny Livingstone (self-coached, Exeter)
110m Hurdles: Matthew Griffin (Paul Gripton, Birchfield)
400m Hurdles: Onyekachukwu Okoh (Jade Harding, Chelmsford)
High Jump: Sebastian Clatworthy (Simon Hemmings, Chelmsford)
Pole Vault: Lazarus Benjamin (Matt Cullen, Sale Harriers Manchester)
Long Jump: Toby Hiller (Daniel Hooker, Wimborne)
Triple Jump: Archie Yeo (Stephen Wymark, Kingston upon Hull)
Shot Put: Zac Davies (Stuart Carlaw, Harrow)
Hammer: Owen Merrett (Matt Spicer, Yate)
Discus: Edward Fileman (Gary Herrington, Tavistock)
Javelin: Callum Taylor, (Bronwin Carter, City of Portsmouth)
4x100m Relay: Jeriel Quainoo (Ryan Freckleton, Blackheath & Bromley), Tyler Panton (Peter Griffiths, Woking), Michael Onilogbo (Carl Graham, Newham & Essex Beagles), Emmanuel Duruiheoma (Ryan Freckleton, Shaftesbury Barnet), Jason Kalala (Nat Senior, Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets), Medwin Odamtten (Gladys Bird, Woodford Green Essex Ladies) and James Grindle (Adrian Hemery, Thames Valley)
4 x 400m Relay: Samuel Reardon (Nigel Stickings, Blackheath & Bromley), Brodie Young (James McMenemy, Airdrie Harriers), Cam McGregor (James Wright, Rugby & Northampton), Reuben Henry-Daire (Paul Herrington, Reading AC), and Onyekachukwu Okoh (Jade Harding, Chelmsford)