British athletics Olympic trials: an event-by-event form guide

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EVENT OLYMPIC MAIN CONTENDERS

QUALIFYING (with '96 personal best)

TIME

MEN

100m 10.34sec L Christie (10.04), D Campbell (10.17), J Johns (10.36), D Braithwaite (10.14), K Williams (10.35), I Mackie(10.34)

Christie will be favourite - he has won a record seven titles. Although not at his brilliant best, he is still a threat to anyone, which should convince him to contest the Olympics. The other two places will be hotly contended. Braithwaite, the 1995 champion, was recently beaten by Campbell, once considered the next Christie.

200m 20.84sec L Christie (20.29), J Regis (20.47), O Dako (21.07), D Turner (20.43), S Wariso (20.64), I Mackie (21.58)

Christie has not run a championship 200m for six years and is unlikely to now. Regis and Wariso, the top two of 1995, are back from injury and the latter may have run out of time. Dako has the talent but has yet to perform on the big occasion.

400m 45.84sec R Black (44.77), I Thomas (44.66), J Baulch (44.27), D Ladejo (45.57), M Richardson (45.42), D Grindley (45.66)

The glamour event of the championship and a time below 45 seconds will be needed to make the Atlanta team. Old hand Black, and the two young Welshmen Thomas and Baulch have prepared well. However, Richardson, Ladejo and Grindley, respectively Britain's best of the past three years, have disapointed and may have overtrained.

800m 1:46.5 D Strang (1:46.36), C Winrow (1:45.77),

C Robb (1:45.73)

Britain has fallen far in this event since the beginning of the decade and an Olympic finalist in Atlanta would be a fine achievement. Robb, sixth in Barcelona, is the best prospect and may be returning to form after illness.

1,500m 3:38.0 T Whiteman (3:36.37), J Mayock (3:37.84), G Stewart (3:36.66), N Caddy (3:39.58), K McKay (3:39.40)

Fortunes have not come good recently. However, Britain did place two in the world's top 12 in 1996. Whiteman will start favourite but could be exposed if the early pace is slow. The holder Mayock looks a fair bet to qualify, the third spot being wide open.

5,000m 13:29.0 J Nuttall (13:17.48), R Denmark (13:41), K Cullen (13:27.00), A Passey (14:11)

Nuttall has not won a 5K in over five years but has shown much the best form in 1996. Denmark, last year's AAA Champion, has begun his track season late in the hope of peaking when it counts. Only the above four have realistic chances.

10,000m 28:10.00 J Brown (No 1996 time), I Robinson (28:04.02), G.Staines (No 1996 time)

Germany-based Brown, a former 5,000m champion, has moved up and is a class apart, first European to finish at the World cross-country and successful in the USA. Robinson, graduated from a US university, is a virtual unknown over here.

3,000m 8:30:00 J Chaston (8:29.64), K Cullen (8:30.69), Steeplechase T Hanlon (no '96 time), S Duval (no '96 time)

Cullen will probably opt for the 5,000m while Hanlon and Duval have yet to contest the event in 1996. Duval is on the way back after injury in the winter and Chaston should regain the title he won in 1994.

110m Hurdles 13.84 T Jarrett (13.24), C Jackson (13.32), N Owen (13.62), A Tullock (13.64), P Gray (13.61)

Jackson v Jarrett will be a highlight of the weekend. Jackson has won the title six times. Jarrett, remarkably, has never tasted victory, however, he has to be favourite this year. The Olympics is the only championship Jackson has yet to win and the only event at which Jarrett has yet to win a medal.

400m Hurdles 50.04 J Ridgeon (49.84), P Crampton (49.93) L Lynch (50.39), P Thompson (50.16), G Cadogan (50.17)

Having missed two years through injury, Ridgeon's return is remarkable in terms of tenacity and most welcome as the event needs a boost. He may challenge the world's best once more but he will probably have to wait until 1997.

High Jump 2.27 S Smith (2.30), D Grant (2.28)

Smith has been Britain's No1 since 1992, while Grant was the best for the four years beforehand. Both have won medals at the highest levels but not at the Olympics. Each has won two AAA titles; it is difficult to know which one will win their third in 1996.

Pole Vault 5.60 N Buckfield (5.65), P Williamson (5.40) M Edwards (5.45)

Buckfield is the clear No1 and looks certain to improve upon his own GB record soon. He is capable of reaching the Olympic final. It seems unlikely that any other vaulter can achieve 5.60 metres in 1996, although Neil Winter did so in 1995.

Long Jump 8.00 F Salle (7.79), D Ritchie (7.51), N Morgan (7.58)

Britain's weakest event and a long shot that anyone will exceed 8m - a distance which was almost routine for Lynn Davies 30 years ago. Contrastingly, the juniors have a fine recent record but fail to sustain progress once in the senior ranks.

Triple Jump 16.85 J Edwards (17.55), F Agyepong (16.89), J Gulley (16.53)

Jon Edwards, world champion and world record-holder, has failed to reach the Olympic final twice. He will need to exceed 17m to be sure of defeating the in-form Agyepong. Gulley could yet return to form and ensure no change to the Barcelona trio.

Shot 19.50 S Pickering (19.62), M Simson (18.99), M Proctor (19.67)

Pickering will have bolstered his prospects considerably, following a fine performance in the European Cup. Simson, a great competitor under pressure, has yet to achieve the qualifier. Proctor is erratic but has 20m potential.

Discus 62.00 B Weir (62.02), G Smith (62.32)

Weir, at 35, by no means too old in this event, competed at the Los Angeles Games in 1984, then had eight years of US football. A great technican, he can improve to 66m plus. Smith, ultra-consistent at around 59m fully deserves a place.

Hammer 74.00 D Smith (75.10), M Jones (71.74),P Head (71.86)

Smith has provided considerable future optimisim for British hammer throwing, following his form in 1996. Only fifth in last years AAAs, he must win well this time. Jones and Head, both former Olympians, will strive hard for a second appearance.

Javelin 80.00 M Hill (78.76), C Mackenzie (81.06), N Neiland (79.94)

Steve Backley, the 1992 Olympic bronze medallist, is still recovering from an Achilles operation and is due to compete in a fortnight. Hill, also plagued with injury in 1996, can reverse an early season defeat by Mackenzie and claim his sixth AAA title.

WOMEN

100m 11.44sec S Jacobs (11.51) P Thomas (11.46), B Kinch( 11.50), G McLeod (11.48), M Richardson (11.47)

No one has been able to achieve the Olympic standard in 1996 and this event is wide open, only a metre is likely to separate the first six. For whoever does gain selection, a place in the the Atlanta semi-finals will be a fine achievement.

200m 23.24sec K Merry (22.88), S Jacobs (22.95), C Murphy (23.47)

Merry, for so long considered the saviour for Britain in the sprints, has gained confidence from her third place at the European Cup. Jacobs, aiming for her fourth Games, having won a relay bronze in 1984, may be the only other selection.

400m 52.34 D Fraser (52.37), M Neef (no '96 time), A Curbishley (53.08), P Smith (52.76), L Staines (53.41)

Neef, the 1995 No 1, has not raced a 400 outdoors in 1996 through injury and former No1 Smith has missed the last six weeks. Fraser, who failed to finish last year, can win her first senior title. Staines is in form and can obtain a relay place.

800m 2:01.0 K Holmes (1:58.20), D Modahl (2:00.95), S Bowyer (2:02.12)

World bronze medallist Holmes can win whichever way she likes. In 1995 she set an English record and won by 40m. Modahl, who has done so well to achieve the qualifying time after just six races, won the first of five titles a decade ago.

1500m 4:10.0 K Holmes (4:04.56), S Parker (4:11.96)

Holmes is considering this event also - a double never previously achieved. She has yet to decide her Olympic distance, though the 1500m seems much the best option. If she chooses the 800m, Britain may not be represented at this distance.

5,000m 15:45.0 S McGeorge (15:29.04), A Wyeth(16:18.96), P Radcliffe (no '96 time)

Radcliffe, who clearly has Olympic medal potential, has struggled with injury all year - Wyeth is also far from 100 per cent but is going to run. As a result, McGeorge, the 1994 3,000m winner, who dropped out when leading last year, is favourite.

10,000m 32:30.0

Injuries abound and the top two, Yvonne Murray and Jill Hunter, have ruled themselves out. This leaves Britain with no legitimate contender, Vikki McPherson needing to improve more than 45 seconds on her last attempt in May.

100m Hurdles 13.14 A Thorp (13.02), J Agyepong (no '96 time), D Allahgreen (13.44), S Farquharson (13.40)

Agyepong, who has never won this title, looks set to miss the event due to injury but the 1994 European Cup winner has until 30 June to regain form. Newcomer Thorp, 23, has performed outstandingly all season and is approaching world class.

400m Hurdles 56.14 S Gunnell (55.84), L Fraser (57.50), L Brunning (57.34)

Gunnell has looked rusty in her three outings of 1996 and has considerable improvement to make just to reach the Atlanta final. In her favour, the world's best are not running too well themselves.

High Jump 1.92 D Marti (1.94), L Haggett (1.90)

Marti, 27, a 12-year veteran international, is having her best year. Contrastingly, Haggett has lost form in recent weeks. At the Olympics, Britain won silver at every games from 1936 to 1960 but we have had no medal contenders for over 20 years.

Long Jump 6.55 D Lewis (6.66)

Lewis is Britains's only jumper who comes close to world class. However, in Atlanta she will no doubt only contest the heptahlon, in which she is the world No3. This weekend, Lewis is also capable of medals in the 100m hurdles and high jump.

Triple Jump 13.75 A Hansen (14.64), M Griffith (14.05)

Hansen, twice European Cup winner, is the world's second longest jumper of 1996; however her record is filled with below-par performances. Griffith on the other hand is a fine competitor who has reached the last two world finals.

Shot 18.00 J Oakes (19.01)

38-year-old Oakes is throwing further than at any time since 1988 and is now among the world's top 10. Fourth in the 1984 Olympics, she was in retirement four years ago. A record 14th AAA title will be a formality.

Discus 60.00 S Drew (57.34), J McKernan (60.04), D Gallaway (58.56)

Our standard bearer, McKernan, finds that teaching commitments have restricted her progress in '96. Her advantage is the considerable gap in experience between herself and her rivals. She is the only currently active thrower to win the AAA title.

Javelin 60.00 T Sanderson (60.64), S Holroyd (57.60)

On the threshold of a record-equalling sixth Olympic appearance, Sanderson, the 1984 champion, achieved the standard, following a three-and-a-half year retirement. She will need to improve by five metres to be in the reckoning for a medal.

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