Williams GB chance?

Emily Williams, Kettering’s exciting middle distance prospect, put in a terrific performance at the England U20 championships to give herself every chance of being selected for the upcoming European U18 Championships in Gyor Hungary in early July.

Running as an underage athlete the U17 was competing against the best athletes in Britain up to 3 years her senior in the 1500m to prove herself under the watchful eye of the GB team selectors, and she performed brilliantly to finish 5th overall, and importantly ahead of two of her competitors also eligable for selection in a head to head battle.

With over 30 athletes entered there were tricky heats to navigate on the Saturday and Williams ran a superbly controlled race to make no mistakes winning her heat in 4:31.61, the fastest qualifying time of the day, to set herself up for the following days final.

Competing in her first National championship over the longer 1500m distance, Williams was slightly nervous at the start, but once things got underway she quickly settled her nerves and positioned herself mid pack in what turned out to be a highly tactical race. With eveyone reluctant to take the race out from the start the first lap was a leisurely 80 seconds, but both the other athletes competing to catch the selectors eye featured strongly in the opening stages, with Olivia Mason setting the early pace after the opening lap. The race took off at the bell when Alexander Brown Brown took the race on from Olivia Mason and stretched the field with an early break for home. Williams found herself boxed in and unable to respond to the break, and by the time she had found clear air the pack and gained a 30m lead, however the UK No2 800m ranked athlete used all of her speed to close down the field and went by Mason with 250m to go, and then attacked the Main field, passing Brown with 10m to go, and finish in a highly respectable 5th place in 4:32.42.

Emily Williams terrific performance in the England Athletics U20 Womens 1500m final

Delighted she had proved herself in a high quality field, and to be ahead of her potential rivals for selection, Williams was happy with her performance, but slightly annoyed at being boxed when the race took off, learning she will undoubtedly take forward as she gathers race experience at 1500m at Championship level.

With both the 1500m & 800m qualifying standard, and high European rankings in both events Williams now anxiously waits until the 22nd June to see if she is selected for the European U18 championships taking place in 3 weeks’ time to earn her first full GB vest, which has long been her main aim in the sport, with an opportunity to compete against the very best 16 & 17 year old’s in Europe at either 800m or 1500m.

We wish her the best of luck!

Also competing at the U20/ U23 England Athletics championships was steeple chaser Jack Hope who was competing as an U20 athlete in a combined race with the U23 athletes jack ran a very respectable race in windy condions to finish in 6th place in 9:50.16. Jack who had not been feeling great in training the week leading to the race tired in the last km in the most grueling of events, and will now look at targeting a fast 1500m flat race.

Jack Hope in action in the U20 Men's 3k steeplechase.