UK Athletics Indoor Championships preview

Giles Heywood

The UK Athletics Indoor Championships take place in Birmingham on Saturday 26th February - Sunday 27th February 2022British Olympians and world medal contenders are ready to toe the line for a chance of automatic qualification at the World Indoor Championships in March 2022.

There is a stellar line-up for the women’s 800m in Birmingham with Olympic fourth-placer Jemma Reekie (handicap -1.4), in-form Isabelle Boffey (handicap -0.8) and Jenny Selman  (handicap -1.6), who all have the world qualifiers, lining up for what will be an exciting event. Defending champion and UK record-holder Keely Hodgkinson (handicap -1.5) is due to focus on the 400m this weekend.

In the men's 800m, British record-holder Elliot Giles (handicap -6.1) dominates the UK rankings in 2022 and he ran 1:45.42 at both World Indoor Tour events in Birmingham and Torun this week.

Defending champion Guy Learmonth (handicap -5.3) ran an indoor PB of 1:46.46 at Birmingham as he chases a record 10th medal. Commonwealth medallist Kyle Langford (handicap -5.3) also has the world qualifying mark this winter.

The women’s 1500m is now a straight final at the end of Saturday’s programme and features European under-23 medallist Erin Wallace (handicap -0.9) who ran a PB and world qualifier 4:08.90 in Birmingham last Saturday.

Sub-two-minute 800m performer Adelle Tracey (handicap -1.2), who despite being used to the shorter event has run 4:06.56 for 1500m outdoors, just outside the world indoor standard. European indoor medallist and reigning champion Holly Archer (handicap -0.5) also lines-up in this final.

Six athletes have the 1500m qualifying mark for Belgrade this winter and all bar Olympic medallist Josh Kerr (handicap -5.7) and 800m favourite Giles are entered.

Reigning champion George Mills (handicap -5.3) led the way in the Müller Grand Prix Birmingham 1500m with a PB of 3:36.03 and is up against past champions Charlie Da’Vall Grice (handicap -5.9) and UK leader Neil Gourley (handicap -5.9) who also have the qualifying mark.

Piers Copeland (handicap -5.6) was just behind Mills in Birmingham last Saturday with his 3:36.12 indoor PB and he did win the indoor trial race last year and he has great range having run a 48-second 400m and sub-8:00 3000m in 2021.

European Indoor women’s 3000m champion Amy-Eloise Markovc (handicap -2.2) is the big favourite as the UK leader and also having run a fast 1500m PB in Birmingham last weekend.

Also entered are European Indoor medallist Verity Ockenden (handicap -1.9), Amelia Quirk (handicap -1.4) and Jenny Nesbitt (handicap -2.2) – all athletes have achieved a qualifying standard so far this year.

A strong field has assembled for the men’s 3000m including by European 5000m record-setter Marc Scott (handicap -7.2) plus in-form Tom Mortimer (handicap -6.1), 3:34 1500m runner James West (handicap -5.3) who produced a 7:44.73 performance earlier this month.

A dozen British men have bettered the World Indoor Championships qualifying standard of 7:50.00 this winter but only Mortimer, West and Jamaine Coleman (handicap -5.1) are entered of those.

Some tickets are still available here.

UK runbritain rankings for endurance events and age groups