Traditional pipe opener to the British track and field season sees Katarina Johnson-Thompson in action as teams from England, Scotland, Wales, GB U20s, National Athletics League and hosts Loughborough clash
One week before tackling a heptathlon in Götzis, Katarina Johnson-Thompson will stretch her legs and her throwing arm at the Loughborough International on Sunday (May 21).
The former world and reigning Commonwealth champion is poised to compete in the 100m hurdles, shot put and 4x400m along with a number of other Götzis-bound combined eventers like Holly Mills, Jade O’Dowda and Niamh Emerson. The event is a popular competition choice for combined eventers with Olympic champion Jess Ennis-Hill opening her season in the past at the same venue.
Plenty of Britain’s leading track and field athletes are also ready to make an early-season mark at the 65th staging of this historic event. Many will be part of teams from England, Wales, Scotland, GB&NI Under-20s, the National Athletics League plus Loughborough Students Past and Present. We could also see some big names turning out on Sunday as guest competitors, too.
Johnson-Thompson says: “LIA has always been a landmark date on the athletics calendar and I’m excited to compete here across three events. Last summer we saw incredible crowds at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and I’m sure their energy helped all the athletes go the extra mile. We’ll no doubt have the same carnival atmosphere at LIA that I can’t wait to witness it first-hand.”
Here are the teams for Sunday…
Paralympic sprints champion Thomas Young is in the Loughborough past and present squad along with 400m runner Alex Haydock-Wilson, who runs the match 200m, plus recent BUCS champions like javelin thrower Bekah Walton and sprint hurdler Cameron Fillery.
Sprinter Joy Eze is among the juniors chasing qualifying performances for this summer’s European Under-20 Championships. After starting her season with 9:07.54 for 3000m in Birmingham, cross-country star Innes FitzGerald, 17, tackles that distance again, whereas the junior team also includes shot putter Cleo Agyepong and pole vaulters Charley O’Neill and Lazarus Benjamin.
Scotland boasts a mix of youth and experience and they will be hoping to get good points in the discus in particular with Nick Percy and Kirsty Law.
England traditionally field a strong team in this match and their class of 2023 includes sprinters Imani-Lara Lansiquot and Jona Efoloko, high jumper Laura Zialor, pole vaulter Amelia Strickler and hammer talent Charlotte Payne. The 400m talent Ed Faulds is also back from injury and in the 4x400m.
Wales feature Hannah and Joseph Brier in the 200m, James Heneghan in the mile and Seren Bundy-Davies, the 2016 Olympian who is finding form again lately, in the 400m.
The final team to show their hand in the run-up to Sunday, it includes para sprinter Sophie Kamlish and 400m hurdlers Hayley McLean and Chris McAlister.
Events kick off at 10.45am and the full timetable is here.
Tickets start at £3 for students and £8 for adults and can be bought here.
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