British athletes set to descend on Birmingham for World Indoor Championships
Athletics

British athletes set to descend on Birmingham for World Indoor Championships

28 February 2018 / 16:20

Double European indoor champion Laura Muir will lead a British squad brimming with youth and experience as the globe’s finest descend on Birmingham for the World Indoor Athletics Championships.

Muir had a 2017 to remember with not one but two European titles, blitzing Belgrade with gold medals in both the 1500m and 3000m 12 months ago.

But now there is a chance for the Scot to show what she is made of against the best in the world.

The 24-year-old is part of a 31-strong British squad for the Championships in Birmingham, with reigning European victors Asha Philip and Andrew Pozzi joining her on the start.

Eight British athletes are also making their international debuts too, with 19-year-old Hannah Williams the youngest as she takes her place in the 4x400m relay squad.

At the other end of the scale, Robbie Grabarz and Philip are in line for their fourth world indoors having made their debuts back at Istanbul 2012, though Greg Rutherford has withdrawn in order to manage his fitness.

Meanwhile Pozzi and Shelayna Oskan-Clarke have been named as co-captains, with the latter completely overwhelmed at her selection into the role.

The European silver medallist is preparing to embark on her first global Indoor Championships but that hasn’t stopped her being selected for captaincy duties by members of the British squad.

“I am really looking forward to competing at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham," she said.

"I was not expecting to be captain of the team and am overwhelmed and thrilled to be voted in by my peers and will do my utmost to support them and lead by example.

"It is great to have another home championships following on from the World Championships in London last year. This is my first World Indoor Championships, which I am looking forward to after my silver medal at Europeans last year."

Someone who won’t be joining her however is Rutherford, withdrawing from the Championships in order to manage an ankle injury that has plagued him since the middle of 2017.

The 31-year-old is aiming to become the first long jumper to win three European crowns in succession this summer, with the third and final step of that challenge coming in Amsterdam in July.

That means he has taken the decision to step back from Birmingham, despite winning the British indoor title just a few weeks ago.

The Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth gold medallist was also in action at Sunday’s Muller Indoor Grand Prix and, despite putting in good performances, is looking towards the future following the ankle injury that kept him out of large parts of 2017.

“My performance from the British Championships to the Indoor Grand Prix in Glasgow at the weekend showed improvement but it was still not at the level I demand of myself,” said Rutherford.

“It has not been an easy decision but I have therefore chosen to withdraw from the World Indoor Championships. I am now going to take a few days to recover from Glasgow before resuming training as I prepare for a successful summer.

“I am committed to becoming the first long jumper to win three European titles in a row and will be training hard over the coming months to return to the track as fit as ever.”

Full Great Britain team

Men
CJ Ujah – 60m
Andrew Robertson – 60m
Lee Thompson – 400m, 4x400m relay
Elliot Giles – 800m
Jake Wightman – 1500m
Chris O’Hare – 1500m
Jonathan Davies – 3000m
Andrew Pozzi – 60mH
David King – 60mH
Robbie Grabarz – High jump
Jamal Rhoden-Stevens – 4x400m relay
Grant Plenderleith – 4x400m relay
Owen Smith – 4x400m relay
Sebastian Rodger – 4x400m relay
Efe Okoro – 4x400m relay

Women
Asha Philip – 60m
Bianca Williams  – 60m
Eilidh Doyle – 400m, 4x400m relay
Zoey Clark – 400m, 4x400m relay
Shelayna Oskan-Clarke – 800m
Mhairi Hendry – 800m
Eilish McColgan – 1500m, 3000m
Laura Muir – 1500m, 3000m
Marilyn Nwawulor – 60mH
Megan Marrs - 60mH
Morgan Lake – Triple jump
Katarina Johnson-Thompson – Pentathlon
Amy Allcock – 4x400m relay
Anyika Onuora – 4x400m relay
Meghan Beesley – 4x400m relay
Hannah Williams – 4x400m relay

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