CITY of Plymouth’s David King and Erme Valley Harriers athletes Will Battershill and Sam Trigg-Petrovic all claimed top four finishes at the British Athletics Championships in Manchester at the weekend.
Olympic semi-finalist King claimed his seventh consecutive British outdoor championship medal by winning bronze in a high-class 110m hurdles final.
The race saw the top three athletes all go under 13.40 seconds, albeit wind-assisted, and the top five go under 13.60 seconds.
Windsor’s Tade Ojora took victory in 13.27 seconds, with Bracknell’s Josh Zeller second in 13.31 and King was third in 13.38. Former world indoor champion Andy Pozzi had to settle for fourth spot in 13.44, with Miguel Perera fifth in 13.59.
Afterwards three-times British champion King described the 110m hurdles this year as ‘probably the hottest British Championships final in two decades’.
He added: “That was my second fastest time ever and I’m feeling ready to keep this progression going.”
World indoor finalist King has been gradually getting faster all season and he will now be keeping his fingers crossed that he does get to go to the World Championships after controversially missing out on selection for the Team England squad for the Commonwealth Games.
Although King has not got the automatic qualifying time for the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon, like Zeller and Pozzi, he could secure an invite through his world ranking.
There is also the European Championship in August this season and the team for that will not be decided until the end of July. King, Ojora, Zeller and Pozzi all currently have the qualifying standard for that, but only three spots are available on the British team.
Erme Valley Harriers steeplechaser Battershill also had the Commonwealth Games qualifying standard but Team England controversially decided to only select one athlete – Zac Seddon – in that event for the Commonwealth Games.
It meant there was a lot to prove for the steeplechasers on Saturday in Manchester. Devon Olympian Phil Norman was particularly angry at his Commonwealth Games snub and he set the pace in the British final, despite strong winds.
Seddon, Jamaine Coleman and Battershill went with Norman and those four broke away early on, but Battershill just lost touch in the closing stages.
Coleman ended up winning in 8:27.01, with Norman second in 8:28.86, Seddon third in 8:34.47 and Battershill fourth in 8:38.15. Former British champion Mark Pearce had to settle for fifth in 8:42.77.
Despite it being Battershill’s best ever performance at a senior British Championships, he was not totally happy.
“I went with the leaders as long as I could, but didn’t have the legs in the final km,” said Battershill, who has clocked a PB of 8:31.89 this season. “Will dust myself off and go again. Plenty of racing left this season.”
Meanwhile, triple jumper Trigg-Petrovic leaped a wind-assisted season’s best of 15.74m to also finish fourth in Manchester.
Trigg-Petrovic saved his best to his last jump to move up from sixth to fourth and beat former champion Nathan Douglas.
Elsewhere on the first day of the British Championships, Tavistock Run Project’s Oliver Smart finished seventh in the U20 3,000m. Smart clocked 8:22.96 in a tactical final where less than four seconds separated the top seven athletes.