Sheffield to welcome Britain’s best for Indoor Team Trials

Katarina Johnson-Thompson
Katarina Johnson-Thompson
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The best homegrown athletes will be in Sheffield this weekend as they aim to battle it out for their spot in the British team at the European Indoor Athletics Championships.

On Saturday and Sunday, the EIS will host an elite group of athletes as they compete to be crowned British Champion and battle for a place on the team for the European Indoor Championships in Belgrade next month.

Eilidh Doyle

Eilidh Doyle

The EIS has become the home of the Indoor Team Trials, playing host to some memorable moments in recent years, and this year is set to be no exception as hundreds of the country’s best athletes from across the country will be looking to get 2017 off to a good start with London hosting both the IAAF and IPC World Championships in the summer.

One of the highlights of the event is the men’s 60m which is expected to feature some of the best sprinters in Britain, with former World and European indoor champion Richard Kilty expecting to challenge the likes of Harry Aikines-Aryeetey and Dwain Chambers.

With local hero Jessica Ennis-Hill now retired from the sport, up steps Katarina Johnson-Thompson. The 24-year-old reached the heptathlon final at the 2016 Rio Olympics where she set a British high jump record of 1.98m.

KJT – as she is often known – will be going head to head with world indoor bronze medallist Lorraine Ugen and European silver medallist Jazmin Sawyers in the women’s long jump on Sunday afternoon, a real spectacle for all fans of field athletics.

Tom Bosworth

Tom Bosworth

With KJT missing from the high jump field, 19-year-old Morgan Lake is expected to be one of the stars on Saturday. In Rio last summer, Lake became the first British woman to reach an Olympic high jump final since Debbie Marti in 1992.

Fans will also be treated to a new event in Sheffield this year as the male race walkers, led by British champion Tom Bosworth, will get the chance to compete over 5000m, as opposed to the previous 3,000m event and no doubt will be aiming for a British record to round up the event on Sunday.

Leeds-based Bosworth said: “At an indoor championships the atmosphere is amazing and our British fans go absolutely wild for their favourite athletes.

“When you’re on for a record they support you unbelievably so I’m sure it’s going to be another fantastic event.

Richard Kilty

Richard Kilty

“Hopefully this time I can challenge over the 5000m to see if I can better my British record, but it’s going to be a challenge so I’m going to need all the support I can get.”

Last year Andrew Pozzi became British Champion at the indoor event, and the question is whether he can retain his title this year.

The 2011 UK Athletics Outstanding Athlete of the Year has had an incredible start to 2017, setting two world leading times already and surely will shine in Sheffield when he competes in the 60m hurdles on Saturday.

Rounding off our seven to watch in Sheffield is everybody’s favourite Scottish runner, Eilidh Doyle.

Morgan Lake

Morgan Lake

The 400m hurdles Scottish record holder, Doyle is ditching the hurdles in Sheffield and competing on the fourth event of Saturday over the same distance where she will come up against like likes of Meghan Beesley, the Nielsen twins and Victoria Ohuruogu, younger sister of former Olympic, World and Commonwealth champion Christine.

The 2017 British Athletics Team trials act as more than the chance to take the British indoor title at Sheffield; it’s also the opportunity for athletes to secure their spot at the 34th European Athletics Indoor Championships.

Tickets for the team trials are available at www.britishathletics.org.uk.