With 13 national champions crowned on a jam-packed day at the British Athletics Championships in Birmingham, the Olympic dream moved a step closer to becoming reality for a number of athletes – including new men’s 100m champion James Dasaolu who admitted it was mission accomplished.
Athletes finishing in the top two at the Alexander Stadium, who have also achieved the qualification standard on two occasions this season, will be heading to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games later this summer – subject to selection and ratification by the British Olympic Association.
Dasaolu was one man to do just that, clocking an incredible 9.93 seconds – aided by a 3.0m/s tailwind – to win the 100m ahead of James Ellington and CJ Ujah.
Ellington and Ujah also went sub-10 seconds and Dasaolu claims he is in prime position to succeed in the challenges that lie ahead.
“I am so pleased, this is what I wanted to do at the Olympic Trials – finish in that top two and book my spot on the road to Rio,” he said.
“It is a bonus to go sub-10. I haven’t done that since 2013 when, funnily enough, I did that in the exact same lane here in Birmingham.
“I knew it was going to be tough, as across the whole field there were quick times. It was a packed field so I knew it was going to be a challenge.
“The start was going to be crucial for me and I nailed it so I knew from there it was going to be easier.
“I didn’t think I was in 9.93 shape but that is where I want to be in a few weeks’ time in Rio. I know after another block of training I can only get quicker and stronger.”
Asha Philip flew out of the blocks in the women’s 100m and never looked like being caught as she took the title ahead of Daryll Neita while it was a sister act in the 100m hurdles – Tiffany Porter edging out her sibling Cindy Ofili to win gold.
Andrew Butchart continued his incredible season to take the 5000m, Rob Mullett sealed the men’s 300m steeplechase, Morgan Lake won the women’s high jump and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Laura Samuel won a fifth British triple jump title.
Meanwhile, Holly Bradshaw won the women’s pole vault, Nicholas Percy did likewise in the men’s discus, Nathan Douglas clinched the men’s triple jump, Scott Lincoln launched the shot put 19.03 metres to take the British title and Matti Mortimore triumphed in the javelin.
Sophie Hitchon had already achieved the qualifying standard on multiple occasions this term, so is now in good shape for Rio after grabbing the women’s hammer title.
But despite her pride, she was frustrated at demonstrating an imperfect technique.
“It’s always a proud moment to become a British champion,” said Hitchon. “There were a few technical issues which I’m not happy about but it was about getting the win today.
“I’ll look forward to the European Championships in a couple of weeks then we will be focusing on Rio.
“There are a lot of small steps to make over the next few weeks to make those improvements ahead of the Olympic Games.”
The British Championships conclude on Sunday afternoon with Olympic spots up for grabs and further 23 champions set to be crowned.