Bates Euro U18 Qualifier joy

Kettering’s U20 Alice Bates become the second Harrier to set a European U18 Qualification standard with a scintillating display at the Watford BMC Grand Prix in the 1500m with her 4th PB of the season.


Bates competing in the Women’s ‘C’ race in a highly competitive field and needing to set a time under 4:26 before the deadline for the selection of the GB&NI team on 20th June, was under pressure to run a new lifetime best by just under 1 second. Bates had opened her season with a 4:26.7 but strict rules on reaching the qualifying mark and the types of race needed to set a qualifying time, importantly all female race including the pacemaker, means limited opportunities to race in the qualification window.


Bates set off at a sensible pace, ensuring she was on the desired pace of 2:20 at 800m, splitting in the first lap in 68, with 2:22 after 800m and 3:15 at the bell she gave herself a great opportunity to set a quali time. Powering her way from the bell she produced a brilliant last lap to cross the line in 6th place securing an all-important time of 4:25.66. The race was tight & scrappy with bates being chopped so she will be confident she can run faster still as the season progresses.


Alice Bates (248) Brilliant performance to set a new lifetime best of 4:25.66 a Euro U18 Qualification mark


Her time paces her 10th in the European U18 rankings, and with just two eligible GB & NI athletes ahead of her in the UK, both of whom have secured times for other distances which they are more likely to compete in in the Euro U18 championships, Bates finds herself in a good position prior to the selection meeting.


Bates was happy that the strategy to limit races and get a training block in had proved to be the right decision and coach Shane Smith was delighted she had finally set the qualI time

“Alice was leaving it to the last minute, but testament to her strength of character she can produce performances under pressure when it really mattes”. He added “Her time puts her a great position to be considered for her first GB vest but we're not counting our chickens yet, setting the time is paramount, but the European U18 team is limited to 40 places so competition will be fierce. All we can do now is wait”.

Bates joints Kettering’s Alice Bennett in an anxious wait leading up to the selection date for the GB & NI team, both have really raised their game this season as getting the European U18 Quali time is hugely challenging. Bennett was unable to improve her time at Watford, but continued her fine form to finish 2nd in the women’s 800m ‘B’ race.  


Bates next outing will be some speed work with a rare outing over 800m on the cards.


Congratulation to Alice Bates & Alice Bennett on reaching the standard and the best of luck with their selection oppertunities.