A 52-strong Great Britain & Northern Ireland under 20 team has been selected to compete at the Loughborough International Athletics (LIA) on Sunday May 17 at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium.
Six of the athletes picked for the British team are 2015 European junior leaders in their event including pole vaulter Adam Hague, sprinters Ojie Edoburun and Tommy Ramdhan the 100m and 200m respectively. Charlotte McLennaghan is the European leader in the 200m, Laviai Nielsen over 400m and Mhairi Hendry in the 800m, which presents the strength of the GB & NI squad heading to Loughborough.
British pole vault sensation Adam Hague has set the event alight this season, breaking the British Junior record on three occasions in 2015. After an eighth place finish at the IAAF World Junior Championships last year, the 17 year-old’s best now stands at 5.60m and will be keen to extend that mark further this weekend.
Last weekend, Charlotte McLennaghan recorded a time of 23.09 over 200m which took her to fifth on the UK all-time junior list in the event, above Olympic 400m bronze medallist Katharine Merry. The Notts AC athlete competes in the 200m and will also be part of the 4x100m squad alongside Shannon Hylton who will take part in the individual 100m. The Blackheath & Bromley athlete finished fourth over 200m at the World Junior Championships last year, and her twin sister Cheriece is included in the 4x400m relay squad.
Another set of twins have earned selection for the GB & NI team in the form of Laviai and Lina Nielsen. Laviai has been in impressive form so far in 2015 and improved her personal best to 52.61 this month as she took the silver medal at the BUCS Championships in Bedford. Lina meanwhile has lowered her lifetime best over 400m by three seconds since the 2014 outdoor season, is part of a strong 4x400m squad, which also includes 2013 World Youth champion Sabrina.
World Youth 100m silver medallist Ojie Edoburun stars in the 100m and the 4x100m relay, alongside Shaftesbury Barnet’s Tommy Ramdhan who will make his British team debut over 200m. British U20 leader in the long jump so far this year, Leeds City’s Jacob Fincham-Dukes will be looking for another good display after achieving the European Junior Championships qualifying standard of 7.60m for the event in March.
Bobby Clay returns after an injury-interrupted winter to race over 1500m after clocking 4:19.91 in Watford earlier this month, while European and World Cross Country international Phoebe Lawsteps up to the track over 3000m, and Victoria Park City of Glasgow’s Mhairi Hendry makes her international debut in the 800m.
Jo Summers, the British Athletics Performance Development Manager said:
“The Loughborough International provides the GB & NI junior team with a great opportunity for athletes to compete in a high level competition and as a stepping stone towards the European Junior Championships in July.
The team features a number of seasoned internationals as well as several newcomers to the British squad, so we look forward to seeing all the athletes taking advantage of the stage at Loughborough to develop and shine in this season opener for the junior team.”