JOSH KERR in GB SQUAD FOR WORLD ATHLETICS INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS GLASGOW 24

The Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24 (1-3 March) has been announced. Give or take one or two late additions, the GB team for the World Indoors will consist of 20 athletes.  9 individual women, six individual men, and 5 relay women.

Josh Kerr sets WR at 2 mile in 8:00.67, Millrose Games, photo by Kevin Morris

The stand-out selection is Josh Kerr, World Champion outdoors at 1500m, who will compete in the 3000m, finding the lure of a global championship in his native Scotland too hard to resist.  There will be a strong Scottish middle-distance presence with Laura Muir in the women’s 3000m and Jemma Reekie in the 800.  Laura told me that a straight-to-final 3000m was much more attractive to her at this stage of the season than a 1500 with heats and a final.

Jemma Reekie takes the 800m at Microplus UK Athletics Indoor, photo by Getty Images for UK Athletics

The men’s team looks unbalanced – 2 hurdlers, 2 in the 1500m and 2 others.  The lack of a GB 4 by 400 men’s team looks shocking, given our tradition in the event and medal in Budapest but the underlying question at every point this year, for every athlete, is: will running in Glasgow help my chances in the Olympics?

Laura Muir takes the 3,000m at Microplus UK Athletics Indoor, photo by Kevin Morris for UK Athletics

In Budapest last summer, GB won 10 medals – omitting the 2 sprint relay medals, leaving 8 – six individual and 2 relay medals.  The Glasgow team includes Josh Kerr, but Ben Pattison, Keely Hodgkinson, Matt Hudson-Smith, Zharnel Hughes, and Katarina Johnson-Thompson opted against a competitive indoor season. The women’s 4 by 400 relay squad is there, albeit including in the Glasgow squad, only two who ran in Budapest.  There is no men’s relay team as none of the Budapest medallists ran in the UK Indoor Champs.

Sister Act: Laviai Nielsen, Lina Nielsen, photo by Getty Images for UK Athletics

It is what it is.  There are some serious medal contenders, and some younger athletes have been given opportunities.

The full team in the format: athlete name, (coach, club) – event is

Women

Georgia Bell (Trevor Painter, Belgrave) – 1500m

Isabelle Boffey (Luke Gunn, Enfield and Haringey) – 800m

Molly Caudery (Scott Simpson, Thames Valley) – Pole Vault

Morgan Lake (Robbie Grabarz, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) – High Jump

Laura Muir (Steve Vernon, Dundee Hawkhill) – 3000m

Laviai Nielsen (Tony Lester, Enfield and Haringey) – 400m

Jemma Reekie (Jon Bigg, Kilbarchan) – 800m

Cindy Sember (Chris Johnson, Woodford Green Essex Ladies) – 60m Hurdles

Revee Walcott-Nolan (Thomas Dreißigacker, Luton) – 1500m

4x400m: Hannah Brier (Matt Elias, Swansea), Hannah Kelly (Les Hall, Bolton), Jessie Knight (Marina Armstrong, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow), Laviai Nielsen (Tony Lester, Enfield and Haringey), Lina Nielsen (Tony Lester, Shaftesbury Barnet) and Ama Pipi (Linford Christie; Enfield & Haringey)

Molly Caudery, British NR at 4.85m, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics

 Men

Jeremiah Azu (Marco Airale, Cardiff) – 60m

Callum Elson (Nick Aguila, Cambridge & Coleridge) – 1500m

Adam Fogg (Cory Leslie, Coventry) – 1500m

Josh Kerr (Danny Mackey, Edinburgh) – 3000m

David King (Tim O’Neil, City of Plymouth) – 60m Hurdles

Tade Ojora (Joanna Hayes, Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow) – 60m Hurdles

Paula Dunn, Olympic Head Coach, commented: “We are pleased to be announcing such a strong team for the World Athletics Indoor Championships Glasgow 24, and I am looking forward to seeing how the team performs on the world stage. We had a thrilling National Championships where athletes secured their places for the Team in Scotland, and it was fantastic to see a number of athletes stepping up when it counted. This is a really exciting squad that includes global medallists as well as athletes who will be hoping to make an impact on the world stage for the first time”.

Think Jeremy Azu is happy winning the British title at 60 meters? photo by Getty Images for British Athletics

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