Eilidh Doyle and David King booked their places at the London 2017 IAAF World Championships by winning gold during an excellent weekend for University of Bath-based athletes at the British Athletics Team Trials in Birmingham.
Emily Diamond also clinched her spot in the GB squad for the Worlds, as did University alumni Danny Talbot and Jack Green, while Leon Reid set the qualifying standard for next month’s global championships with a huge personal best.
Sport Performance student Cameron Chalmers, supported by a Thompson Education Trust Scholarship, and graduate Jacob Paul also put themselves in contention for selection by finishing on the podium in their respective finals.
Doyle, coached by Brian Doyle at the Sports Training Village (STV), led from start to finish as she won her fourth successive British 400m hurdles title in a time of 55.59, finishing more than a second clear of the field.
The Rio 2016 Olympic medallist wasn’t satisfied with her performance, though, saying: “It was messy from my point of view but the job today was to win and get qualification out of the way.
“I showed last week [at the European Team Championships] that I am in good shape and now I need to put some solid races together back to back. That’s hurdling, it’s all about finding the rhythm.”
— James Hillier (@JamesHillier78) July 2, 2017
The Sports Performance graduate is now looking forward to making his World Championships debut, saying: “It’s absolutely amazing – to qualify for London feels so, so good.
“It’s a long process. I’ve been chipping away at my times for four or five years now but it is going so well with my coach James Hillier and I’m really happy.”
Olympic relay medallist Diamond, coached remotely at the STV by Jared Deacon, was pipped to 400m gold by just four-hundredths of a second but a top-two finish was enough to confirm her World Championships place.
The men’s 400m final saw Chalmers, coached by Hillier, continue his excellent 2017 form by winning a bronze medal in 46.11. He has until July 23 to set the qualification standard of 45.50, during which time he will compete at the European U23 Championships in Poland.
Training partner Reid produced one of the runs of the weekend to claim a brilliant bronze in a strong 200m final, surging down the back straight to set a qualifying time of 20.38 – nearly a quarter of a second quicker than his PB at the start of the weekend.
Sports Performance graduate Talbot was runner-up in 20.20, the fastest time of his career, to book his World Championships place.
Two University alumni led the way in the men’s 400m hurdles final, with Green – who studied Sports Performance – securing his London spot by winning gold in 49.34. Sport & Social Sciences graduate Paul finished strongly to claim silver in 49.66, while Seb Rodger – who also used to train at the STV – completed the podium.
The IAAF World Championships will take place at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park from August 4-13.
Ahead of that, from July 14-23, London will also host the IPC World ParaAthletics Championships featuring three University-based athletes – World and Paralympic champion Paul Blake and world-record holder Sophie Kamlish, both coached by Rob Ellchuk, and teenager Polly Maton, coached by Colin Baross.