In most of the major meetings of the year, Stuart Weir does a column on the Brit performances; this is his column on the 9 athletes competing in Silesia, Poland.
Brits in Silesia
Five British athletes recorded PRs at the Silesia Diamond League on Sunday, with nine British athletes competing. Having been in the Silesia Stadium for the European Team Championships last month when there were barely 2,000 spectators at most at the event, it was pleasing to see a good crowd for the Diamond League.
Melissa Courtney-Bryant leads 1,500m at British Champs, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics
The women’s 1500m in the pre-event program was the most impressive British performance. Sent up with a pacemaker, 10 of the 15 athletes ran a PR. The race was won by Hirut Meshesha of Ethiopia in 3:54.87. Melissa Courtney-Bryant, a Commonwealth and twice European Indoor bronze medallist, finished sixth in 3:58.01, more than 2 seconds faster than her existing PR. As she finished third in the GB trials last weekend – where the top two get automatic selection for the worlds, with the third place at the discretion of the selectors – her excellent time should seal her ticket to Budapest. Jemma Reekie was seventh in 3:58.65, a first sub-four time. Reekie has not run many 1500s in previous years, although she did win the 2021 Fifth Avenue mile. That may change under the guidance of the new coach, John Bigg. Erin Wallace also had a PR finishing in 4:06.29.
Victoria Ohuruogu, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics
Victoria Ohuruogu ran a PR of 50.48, a marginal improvement on her existing best. Running in lane 9 is never easy, and I am sure she would have been quicker had she been in the thick of things. Now aged 30, she ran 52.71 in 2014, which remained her PR until 2021. Then, having come back to the sport with a vengeance, she took nearly 2 seconds off that PR in 2022 when she also came second in the Commonwealth Games and fourth in the European Championship.
Darryl Neita, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics
That Darryl Neita’s 11.01 for fifth place in the 100 is seen as a disappointment is an indication of how far she has come. It has also been a busy time with a first Diamond League win in Stockholm, followed by a win at the British Championships, then Silesia, and she is due to run in Monaco and London later this week.
Aimee Pratt, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics
Aimee Pratt, normally a steeplechase runner, ran 8:44.15 in the 3000 flat, a PR at the distance. Elliot Giles, now seemingly running more 1500s than 800s, ran 3:33.00 in 1500, the distance at which he is qualified for Budapest, and Morgan Lake maintained her consistency with a fifth 1.90m+ jump in seven outdoor events this year. Her height in Poland was 1.92, and her season’s best is 1.97. Josh Zeller, the World Championship finalist in the sprint hurdles, ran 13.43 for fifth place.
Morgan Lake, HJ, Instanbul 2023, photo by Getty Images for European Athletics