Britain announces slimmed-down team for World Athletics Championships

Dina Asher-Smith - Britain announces slimmed-down team for World Athletics Championships

100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith is among Team GB’s medal hopefuls as around 20 athletes miss out – PA/Martin Rickett

Britain will be represented by its smallest squad at a World Athletics Championships since 2005 after around 20 athletes were denied places by UK Athletics’ controversial selection policy.

Technical director Stephen Maguire defended the approach, saying that it was about focusing on those athletes who can challenge for finals or medals, but admitted that the inclusion of only 12 men in individual events was indicative of a need to raise standards.

World Athletics allows athletes into the championships through a combination of qualifying times and world rankings but UK Athletics also has its own qualifying standards and will not select even invited athletes if they have not met their time or distance.

It has caused considerable anger among some of those athletes and, with the policy also set to apply for the Paris Olympics next year, a legal challenge is being considered.

Amelia Strickler

Two-time British shot-put champion Amelia Strickler has threatened legal action against UK Athletics after narrowly missing out on selection – PA/Martin Rickett

“Athletes will be hurting – the standards are tough,” said Maguire. “The policy has been out for a while. My advice would be grasp the nettle, train hard and put yourself in a good position. Absolutely when people don’t make standards there’s probably a bit of emotion. Emotion is a big part of high performance sport.

“There are standards that we have set and current form is a big one. I’m happy with the squad. The crossbar has been raised. It’s about the ability to make the final and the ability to challenge for a medal.”

A total of 51 athletes were named in the British team on Friday but that will likely rise to around 55 once World Athletics has sent out its invitations and UK Athletics has verified those who also meet their standard.

There were respectively 97, 77 and 80 British athletes at the last three World Championships but there were only 60 in 2009 and 2007, dropping to 47 in 2005. With no man in any distance events above 1,500 and just one male entrant in a field event, Maguire acknowledged the gaps but is adamant that UK Athletics’ standards are not too demanding and that decisions were not being drive by cost.

“We do have to invest in field events,” he said. “I think the fair thing we are doing, and people may not like it, is the clarity of the selection policy. If 80 people make the level that we have set, hallelujah.”

Medal hopes like Dina Asher-Smith, Keely Hodgkinson, Zharnel Hughes and Laura Muir are all in the squad, as is Eilish McColgan following the injury that forced her to miss April’s London Marathon.

Team GB

Women

100m: Dina Asher-Smith, Imani-Lara Lansiquot, Daryll Neita

200m: Dina Asher-Smith, Daryll Neita, Bianca Williams

400m: Victoria Ohuruogu, Ama Pipi

800m: Isabelle Boffey, Keely Hodgkinson, Jemma Reekie

1500m: Melissa Courtney-Bryant, Laura Muir, Katie Snowden

5000m: Megan Keith, Amy-Eloise Markovc

10,000m: Eilish McColgan, Jessica Warner-Judd, 

3000m Steeplechase: Aimee Pratt

100m Hurdles: Cindy Sember

400m Hurdles: Jessie Knight

4x100m Relay: Dina Asher-Smith, Alyson Bell, Imani-Lara Lansiquot, Daryll Neita, Asha Phillip, Annie Tagoe, Bianca Williams

4x400m Relay: Amber Anning, Yemi Mary John, Jessie Knight, Laviai Nielsen, Victoria Ohuruogu, Ama Pipi, Nicole Yeargin

High Jump: Morgan Lake

Pole Vault: Molly Caudery, Holly Bradshaw

Long Jump: Jazmin Sawyers

Heptathlon: Katarina Johnson-Thompson

Marathon: Natasha Cockram

Men

100m: Eugene Amo-Dadzie, Zharnel Hughes, Reece Prescod

200m: Zharnel Hughes

400m: Matthew Hudson-Smith

800m: Max Burgin, Ben Pattison, Daniel Rowden

1500m: Elliot Giles, Neil Gourley, Josh Kerr

110m Hurdles: Tade Ojora

4x100m Relay: Eugene Amo-Dadzie, Jeremiah Azu, Jona Efoloko, Adam Gemili, Zharnel Hughes, Reece Prescod

4x400m Relay: Joe Brier, Lewis Davey, Charlie Dobson, Alex Haydock-Wilson, Matthew Hudson-Smith, Rio Mitcham

Discus: Lawrence Okoye

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