Fight for the line . . . Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman are straining every sinew in the medal battle in Manchester (Photo by Getty Images via British Athletics)
Four Scottish athletes made certain of Olympic selection in the sunshine in Manchester.
Josh Kerr and Jake Wightman led the way with a double qualification in the Men’s 1500m final, as Edinburgh AC went 1-2.
American-based Nicole Yeargin, wearing a Pitreavie AAC vest with her mother Lynn from Dunfermline, then took second in the Women’s 400m final with a strong run of 51.26 to confirm she is Tokyo-bound,
And Central AC’s Andy Butchart will represent GB and NI for the second time at the Olympics after qualifying in the Men’s 5000m with second place and a silver medal in the British Champs.
The medal tally reached 10 towards the conclusion of the second day as javelin thrower Greg Millar came up with a PB by a metre to reach 71.90m and land a richly-deserved bronze in an exciting competition which saw the top four over 70m.
GOLD for Josh Kerr in Men’s 1500m
SILVER for Nicole Yeargin in the Women’s 400m
SILVER for Andy Butchart in the Men’s 5000m
SILVER for Jake Wightman in Men’s 1500m
SILVER for Erin Wallace in Women’s 1500m
SILVER for Nick Percy in Men’s Discus
BRONZE for David Smith in Men’s High Jump
BRONZE for Sarah Tait in Women’s 3000m steeplechase
BRONZE for Rachel Hunter in Women’s Hammer
BRONZE for Greg Millar in the Men’s Javelin
Josh Kerr won the big Edinburgh AC battle with Jake Wightman in the Men’s 1500m final – as both booked their places on the plane to Tokyo.
There were only five hundredths between them – the width of the well-known EAC vest – as Kerr took it in 3:40.72 to Wightman’s 3:40.77 after a fairly pedestrian opening 1200m or so.
Now Japan is on their minds with the Scottish duo determined to make an impact on the global stage with both now automatically selected for their first Olympics.
‘I love wearing the Edinburgh vest and we’ve had a few showdowns now over the years at the British Champs,’ said Josh.
‘We just needed Chris O’Hare alongside us to make it the club champs! Jake and I battled for second in 2017 and 2019 and this time it was for top two and that’s the main thing.
‘But I am thrilled to win the British title for the first time because that’s what I came here to do and there are so many people helping me and supporting me behind all that and it makes it all worthwhile.’
Erin Wallace had to settle for a silver medal in the Women’s 1500m final as she was edged out over the closing stages by Revee Walcott-Nolan in an exciting finish which preceded the Men’s race denouement.
Jenny Selman clocked a PB in fifth place with 4:11.48. Kathryn Gillespie was eighth in that race with 4:17.34 and Steph Pennycook was 11th in 4:23.29.
There was another endurance medal to come along in the Women’s 3000m steeplechase, as Sarah Tait of Lasswade AC crossed the line 10:03.58 after a long run isolated from the top two but clear of the others.
Jemma Reekie and Laura Muir safely won their heats in the Women’s 800m to progress to the final on Sunday.
There was a solid run from Hannah Cameron in heat two for fourth in 2:07.34 and similarly Olivia Vareille in the third heat with 2:06.79 for fourth.
Ben Greenwood posted a PB run in his Men’s 800m heat with 1:48.47 and the Perth Strathtay athlete later tweeted about that arriving after a four-year wait!
Hammer thrower Rachel Hunter had claimed the first Scottish medal of the weekend – with a Season’s Best throw of 65.46 in the second round enough to land a cherished podium place.
Rachel missed the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games with mental health issues but is certainly now eyeing Birmingham 2022.
‘I have to be pleased with a British medal and SB performance,’ she said.
‘I feel there might have been more there today but I didn’t get it out. Reaching into 66m is definitely a goal now and chasing a PB.
‘I didn’t make Gold Coast because of the mental health issues I had at that time but thankfully I am in a much better place now with my dad, Henry, coaching me and great support from my club, North Ayrshire AC. It’s pleasing to deliver a medal for them.’
There were other field medals to savour.
David Smith has had a tough time with injury but secured bronze in the Men’s High Jump with 2.17m his best clearance.
‘I’ve been carrying an injury so really had no thoughts of maybe winning a medal today,’ said David. ‘I had to really limit my jumps and I think I only did four in total.’
Nick Percy took the silver in the Men’s discus with a best throw of 60.17m.
In the sprints, Adam Thomas ran 10.49 but missed out on a final while there was a heart-breaking DQ for teenager Alyson Bell in her semi-final.
Alexander Thomson was fourth in the Mixed Classification 100m with 12.17 and it was good to see half the field feature Scots in the mixed wheelchair 400m – with performances from Kyle Brotherton, Luke Deighan and Ben Rowlings.
Zara Asante was sixth in the Women’s Triple Jump with 11.91m while Howard Bell finished eighth in the decathlon with 5964 points. Craig Charlton was ninth in the shot put with 14.86m.