European Team Championships: Cheboksary 2015
A 46-strong team representing Great Britain & Northern Ireland is in Russia this weekend for the European Team Championships in Cheboksary (20 – 21 June 2015).
The team includes the fastest British woman in history, Dina Asher-Smith (coach: John Blackie), world and European indoor 60m champion Richard Kilty (Linford Christie), Olympic high jump bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed), plus six athletes who pull on the national vest for the very first time.
With proven performers included alongside a number of newcomers for the sixth edition of the championships, British Athletics Performance Director Neil Black has described the squad as combination of the experienced and the young and up-and-coming and said that “the team was selected with the aim of being competitive, whilst giving some crucial debut opportunities.”
One of those with a wealth of experience is Robbie Grabarz. The joint British record holder is donning a GB & NI vest for the first time since major surgery last year on a long-term knee injury and will be looking to continue his comeback with a high-profile victory.
But it is in the sprints, with the likes of Asher-Smith and Kilty being joined by Asha Philip (Steve Fudge) and Danny Talbot (Dan Cossins), where Britain will have strong hopes of claiming maximum team points. However, with the likes of sub-10 and sub-20 man Christophe Lemaitre (FRA), who lines up in both the 100m and 200m, and Ezinne Okparaebo (NOR) and Nataliya Pohrebnyak (UKR) in the women’s events, it is far from a given.
Elsewhere, Lawrence Clarke (Malcolm Arnold) faces a stiff test in the 110m hurdles from home favourite and double European champion Sergey Shubenkov (RUS), as well as France’s 2015 European Indoor Champion Pascal Martinot-Lagarde.
The long jump also sees a strong Russian presence, with reigning world champion Aleksandr Menkov looking to make the most of home field advantage. It will be a big step up for Dan Bramble (Frank Attoh) in his first GB & NI senior appearance, but high points are up for grabs if he can repeat or improve upon his World qualifying jump of 8.17m from the Birmingham Diamond League event a couple of weeks ago.
Rhianwedd Price (Houston Franks) is another GB & NI debutant who arrives in Cheboksary in great form, after clocking a lifetime best of 4:09.56 to win a thrilling 1500m final at the NCAA Division 1 Championships at Hayward Field, Eugene, last weekend. In a strong field Price will be up against the 1500m 2015 European Indoor Champion, Angelika Cichocka (POL).
Others representing GB & NI vest for the first time include Bonne Buwembo (Mike McNeill), Kirsty Law (Jim Edwards), Zak Seddon (Jeff Seddon) and Jax Thoirs (Pat Licari).
Last year in Braunschweig, Germany, the team finished fifth overall with a total points score of 281.5.
The European Team Championships will be shown on BBC this weekend at the following times:
Saturday: 13.00 - 17:30 (BBC2)
Sunday: 12:30 - 14:05 (BBC2)
GB & NI team for the European Athletics Team Championships:
100m: Richard Kilty (Linford Christie)
200m: Danny Talbot (Dan Cossins)
400m: Jarryd Dunn (Keith Holt)
800m: Guy Learmonth (Rob Denmark)
1500m: Oliver Aitchison
3000m: Andrew Butchart (Derek Easton)
5000m: Andy Vernon (Nic Bideau)
3000m SC: Zak Seddon (Jeff Seddon)
110mH: Lawrence Clarke (Malcolm Arnold)
400mH: Sebastian Rodger (James Hillier)
High Jump: Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed)
Pole Vault: Jax Thoirs (Pat Licari)
Long Jump & Triple Jump: Dan Bramble (Frank Attoh)
Shot & Discus: Zane Duquemin (John Hillier)
Hammer: Nick Miller (John Baumann)
Javelin: Bonne Buwembo (Mike McNeill)
4x100m: James Ellington (Christie), Richard Kilty, Andy Robertson (Cossins), Danny Talbot, Chijindu Ujah (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo)
4x400m: Jarryd Dunn, Conrad Williams (Christie), Rabah Yousif (Carol Williams), Richard Buck (Nick Dakin), Delano Williams (Neil Harrison)
100m: Asha Philip (Steve Fudge)
200m: Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie)
400m: Margaret Adeoye (Linford Christie)
800m: Alison Leonard (Bud Baldaro)
1500m: Rhianwedd Price (Houston Franks)
3000m: Lauren Deadman (Bill Foster)
5000m: Lily Partridge (Mick Woods)
3000mSC: Lennie Waite (Steve Sisson)
100mH: Serita Solomon (Michelle Bovell)
400mH: Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold)
High Jump: Isobel Pooley (Fuzz Ahmed)
Pole Vault: Sally Peake (Scott Simpson)
Long Jump: Jazmin Sawyers (Alan Lerwill)
Triple Jump: Laura Samuel (Aston Moore)
Shot: Rachel Wallader (self-coached)
Discus: Kirsty Law (Jim Edwards)
Hammer: Sophie Hitchon (Tore Gustafsson)
Javelin: Laura Whittingham (Mike McNeill)
4x100m: Margaret Adeoye (Linford Christie), Dina Asher-Smith, Asha Philip, Bianca Williams (Lloyd Cowan), Louise Bloor (Toni Minichiello)
4x400m: Margaret Adeoye, Meghan Beesley (Nick Dakin), Eilidh Child, Alison Leonard, Laura Maddox (Colin Bovell),