5 Jul

Jess Judd's World Championships Dilemma

Laura Weightman and Jess Judd
Chelmsford's Jess Judd was involved in a test of stamina at the World Athletics Trials in Birmingham at the weekend (1-2 July). The human biology student at Loughborough University was attempting a dress rehearsal for the European under-23 Championships 1500m and 5000m double, and ended up with tears of joy as she booked her place in the London World Championships team at 1500m.

First up were the 1500m heats on Saturday where Judd was the fastest qualifier (4:11.96). The final on Sunday saw Judd finish second to double Olympian Laura Weightman (Morpeth Harriers, 4:06.49) in 4:07.09 with Sarah McDonald (Birchfield, 4:08.14) third.

A few hours later the 5000m was dominated by Steph Twell (Aldershot, 15:35.50) and Eilish McColgan (Dundee, 15:38.57), with Judd (15:49.05) fighting fatigue in fifth. The European under-23 Championships start on 13 July in Bydgoszcz, Poland and the London World Championships commence three weeks later on 4 August – presenting a dilemma for this ambitious young athlete. Judd is entered for both events in Bydgoszcz but may have to rethink her season after her busy weekend in the Alexander Stadium.

The men's 1500m and 5000m were no less entertaining. The 1500m saw the podium filled by a single club as Edinburgh AC team mates Chris O'Hare (3:47.28), Josh Kerr (3:47.71) and Jake Wightman (3:47.74) sprinted clear of the pack.   

Central's Andrew Butchart confirmed his selection for the World 5000m alongside pre-selected defending champion Mo Farah. Butchart bolted clear in the final 200m to win (13:50.56) from Andy Vernon (Aldershot, 13:54.63) and Ben Connor (Derby, 13:56.71).

Elsewhere, there was an exciting women's 800m won by Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Windsor, 2:01.54) from Adelle Tracey (Guildford, 2:01.80) and pre-race favourite Lynsey Sharp (Edinburgh, 2:01.81). The men's 800m was less dramatic as Elliot Giles (Birchfield, 1:49.52) took gold from Guy Learmouth (Lasswade, 1:49.89).

The London World Championships run from 4-13 August in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Stadium.