Louie Hinchliffe books Olympic 100m place with victory at UK Championships

Louie Hinchliffe secured a place at this summer’s Paris Olympics with a confident victory in the men’s 100 metres at the Microplus UK Athletics Championships.

The 21-year-old Sheffield athlete, who is coached by American great Carl Lewis and has proved one of the breakout stars of the year with a best time of 9.95 seconds, clocked 10.18secs as he defied the rain to triumph in Manchester on Saturday.

Jeremiah Azu, who had also previously achieved the Paris qualification time, will be joining him at the Games along with world bronze medallist Zharnel Hughes, who missed this event through injury.

CJ Ujah and Reece Prescod were among the other Paris hopefuls to miss out.

Hinchliffe’s victory continued a remarkable rise to prominence having failed to qualify from his heat at the national championships two years ago.

Now based in Houston under the guidance of nine-time Olympic gold medallist Lewis, Hinchliffe caught the eye when he won the US collegiate NCAA Championships earlier this month.

Hinchliffe said: “Carl always said to me, the NCAA is just a bonus. This is what we were working for.

“There was a lot of pressure, coming here as the collegiate champion. So it’s good to get the job done and lift the weight off my shoulders.

“It means everything to be going to Paris. I have dreamed about the Olympics since I was a kid and I will go with the attitude that I can win.”

Louie Hinchliffe with his coach Carl Lewis after winning the 100m
Louie Hinchliffe with his coach Carl Lewis (David Davies/PA).

Daryll Neita was an impressive winner of the women’s 100m in 11.24 to secure her Olympic place.

Amy Hunt, whose season’s best of 11.12 was outside the qualification standard of 11.07, finished second, while third-placed Imani Lansiquot, despite having already achieved the Paris benchmark, also missed out on automatic selection.

World indoor pole vault champion Molly Caudery rubber-stamped her Paris place with an emphatic victory.

Caudery, who set a new British record of 4.92m last week, cleared 4.83m to win her event by a huge 52cm from her closest rival.

The Cornishwoman failed in her attempts to set another new national best mark of 4.93m, but, with six of the world’s eight leading jumps this year to her name, she has emerged as one of Britain’s best athletics medal hopes at the Games.

Caudery said: “It was a great competition and 4.83 is another really good jump. It was really good attempt to 4.93, I’m very happy. I think if there was no wind it (the bar) might have just stayed on.

“I’m really happy with the position I’m in right now. I’m so excited for what’s to come.”

Molly Caudery holds up her medal after victory in the pole vault
Molly Caudery took victory in the pole vault (David Davies/PA).

Cindy Sember clocked 12.85 in the women’s 100m hurdles to book a place, while Nick Percy will also represent Team GB after throwing 58.56m to finish runner-up to Chukwuemeka Osammor in the discus.
Lizzie Bird will join the team after winning the women’s 3,000m steeplechase with victory in a championship record time of 9:29.67.

In other action, world 1500m champion Josh Kerr continued his preparations for Paris with a run-out in the 800m. He came third in his heat to reach Sunday’s final, while Olympic hopefuls Elliot Giles, Max Burgin and Ben Pattison also went through. Dan Rowden, who had already achieved the Olympic standard, missed out.

Jemma Reekie and rising 17-year-old star Phoebe Gill both eased through in the women’s 800m.

US-based Amber Anning made comfortable progress in the women’s 400m with victory in her heat in a stadium record time of 50.64. World 800m silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson, testing herself over a shorter distance in these championships, also reached the final.

Charlie Dobson moved closer to an Olympic place as the quickest of the qualifiers for the men’s 400m final. Laura Muir, Georgia Bell, Melissa Courtney-Bryant, Katie Snowden and Revee Walcott-Nolan, who all have the qualification time, reached the women’s 1500m final.