Butchart, Mortimer and Giles impress at Müller British Grand Prix ahead of final Tokyo preparations

Giles Heywood

The Müller British Grand Prix played host to some very impressive performances as a number of athletes bound for Tokyo fine-tuned their preparations at the final Wanda Diamond League event before the Olympics.


The evening’s final event proved to be one of the highlights as Andrew Butchart (handicap -7.0) broke his own Scottish 3000m record by clocking 7:35.18 as he finished third in a race which was won by Mohamed Katir’s Spanish record of 7:27.64, the second-fastest time in the world this year.

Patrick Dever (handicap -6.8) continued his fine year with sixth place in a PB of 7:37.39, while Tom Mortimer (handicap -6.2) broke Steve Ovett’s 44-year-old British U23 record with his run of 7:38.73 in ninth.

There were also PBs for Sam Atkin (handicap -6.8) and Jack Rowe (handicap -6.4) of 7:39.71 and 7:42.15 respectively as they came home in tenth and 12th places.

The Emsley Carr Mile came right down to the wire as British 800m champion Elliot Giles (handicap -7.1) just edged the win with a personal best time of 3:52.49 from  Jake Heyward (handicap -6.5), who also clocked a PB and broke the Welsh record in second with 3:52.50. Archie Davis (handicap -6.2) also ran his fastest ever time for the distance as he took third in 3:54.27, while 2017 Emsley Carr Mile winner Jake Wightman (handicap -7.1) clocked 3:55.78 in fourth.

Wightman and Giles had been locked together when they reached the bell in 2:54 but a kick from the British 800m indoor record-holder off the final bend sent him into the lead before he just managed to hold off the strong finish of Heyward.

Giles joined Seb Coe, Steve Cram and Peter Elliot as the only British men to have broken 1:44 for 800m, 3:34 for 1500m and 3:54 for the mile.

“It was great and really comfy actually,” said Giles. “It felt much better than I thought it would and I didn’t have to go too deep.
“I didn’t realise Jake was closing on me so much and then I saw he was coming up behind me so that was a really rookie error on my behalf, but luckily I managed to push through and grab that win.

“There’s such an impressive group and depth of GB talent it always pushes me and it’s amazing to see.”

Jamie Webb (handicap -6.9) clocked 1:45.97 to finish seventh in a men’s 800m race which was won by American Isaiah Harris in 1:44.76. Daniel Rowden(handicap -7.1) was a late withdrawal from the race.

In the women’s Millicent Fawcett Mile Katie Snowden(handicap -2.4) produced a strong finish to clock 4:28.04 and take second place behind the world-leading time of 4:27.20 set by American winner Kate Grace.

  Jessica Judd (handicap -2.8) was the next Briton him in eighth with a time of 4:31.18, while Revee Walcott-Nolan (handicap -1.9) was 10th in 4:32.30 and European U23 1500m medallist Erin Wallace (handicap -1.6) 12th with a PB of 4:35.37.

Much of the attention of the crowd on what was beautiful evening in Gateshead fell on heptathlon world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson who is continuing her return from an Achilles injury.

The 28-year-old who had leapt 1.84m in a low-key high jump competition earlier this month was competing in the long jump on home turf and produced a best leap of 6.10m to finish eighth in a competition won by Maryna Bekh-Romanchuk with a final-three leap of 6.67m.

Johnson-Thompson, who will compete once more before Tokyo, was more than happy with her evening’s work.

“That proves that I’m 100 per cent fit,” she said. “I only got one no-jump. It’s proved I’ve made big strides and that I can come out and do the full five jumps off my full approach and hopefully over the coming weeks I can work on my technique a bit more and the distance will come in Tokyo I’m sure.”

runbritain Endurance  results

Full event report HERE on the British Athletics site.