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  • Championship selection 2022

    I thought this might be a useful thread to discuss athletes' choices for this crowded season.

    Holly Mills is prioritising medal chances by going for Commonwealths and Euros, even if she gets the worlds standard: Holly Mills: GB heptathlete would turn down World Championships - BBC Sport

    I see a passing comment in the same article that indicates Niamh Emerson has not recovered from her injury woes as well, sadly, so may not make any of them.

  • #2
    When Niamh Emerson didn't make the recent BUCS event I feared the worse Sensible long term planning by Holly Mills? I suspect KJT might give the Hep a miss at CGs, but might go along for HJ/LJ [I dont know if timetable allows both] which opens up the chances of a gold medal.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Occasional Hope View Post
      I thought this might be a useful thread to discuss athletes' choices for this crowded season.

      Holly Mills is prioritising medal chances by going for Commonwealths and Euros, even if she gets the worlds standard: Holly Mills: GB heptathlete would turn down World Championships - BBC Sport

      I see a passing comment in the same article that indicates Niamh Emerson has not recovered from her injury woes as well, sadly, so may not make any of them.
      An eminently sensible decision from Mills, considering the crowded championship schedule this year and the relative levels of competition between the WCs, ECs and CWG. And the fact that she feels that she can actually *win* either the Euros or Commonwealth Games is indicative of her growing confidence.

      As for whether she *can* win those championships is a different matter of course. Of the two, I would say that the CWG would be by far the best chance Mills had of potentially winning gold, if we consider the levels of competition she could face in both. I've been doing a little digging through the stats on the World Athletics page, focusing on heptathletes representing Commonwealth only over the last 4 years to try and see what trends there have been during that period. If we leave out the Covid-disrupted 2020, Great Britain (via KJT) have usually had the top points scorer on that list during that period, apart from last year with Johnson-Thompson's Tokyo DNF.

      Out of the field that I saw, I think there are two contenders who could prevent Mills from winning gold; there's 2021 NCAA heptathlon champion Tyra Gittens from Trinidad & Tobago, who set a national record score of 6418 points when winning the SEC Championships for her university, Texas A&M last May. She also represented her nation at last year's Olympics in the long jump, where she has a personal best of 6.96m and is also a world class high jumper with a 1.95m PB that she's managed the last two years. (Incidentally, the 6.96m LJ was from that SEC heptathlon win, and is one of the longest jumps recorded in a heptathlon in recent years)
      She's a good 100m hurdler (13.21 PB, 2018) and an improving 200m runner (23.43 PB, 2021). She's solid with the shot put (13.89m PB, 2019) and has gone beyond 40 meters in the javelin (41.24m PB, 2021). However, she does have one very big and obvious weakness, and that is her 800m. The 23 year old only has a lifetime best of 2:28.52 and if Mills is, say, within 150 points of Gittens by the time they get to the last event, then the latter would stand no chance of hanging on to her advantage against someone who is almost a full 20 seconds faster.

      The other gold medal hopefully is Canadian Georgia Ellenwood, also an NCAA heptathlon champion back in 2018 and with a 6314 PB score, set at the Ratingen meeting last year. She is fairly solid over most events, with a good javelin (48.57m PB, 2021) and is much better 800m runner than Gittens (2:11.45 PB, 2021).

      Apart from those two, there is no-one else listed who has scored 6000+ points during that four year period who could potentially threaten Mills (Niki Oudenaarden, Canada, was the next best with a 6053 from 2019, but she hasn't competed since then. GB's Katie Stainton hasn't really been near to the form that got her a 6029 PB in the same year, and the other Canadian on that list, Nina Schultz, now goes by Ninali Zheng and competes for China since 2019. As an aside, last year she scored 6358 points and would certainly have been a serious contender if she still represented the nation of her birth)

      So Mills has a great chance of gold in Birmingham if she stays fit and shows the sorts of improvements that she displayed at the WIC in March outdoors.

      The European Championships would be a much tougher proposition however. Even if the two big guns KJT and Thiam don't decide to compete in Munich, there would still be a big list of women who currently have better PBs than Mills who would present a serious challenge to her medal chances. You have the Dutch pair of Anouk Vetter and Emma Oosterwegel, the Olympic silver and bronze medallists respectively, both with 6500+ PBs. Then there is Xenia Krizsan of Hungary who won last year's Gotzis meeting with a 6651 PB and NR, the Belgian no.2 Noor Vidts, current WI pentathlon champion, who scored 6571 on her way to 4th at the Tokyo Olympics and is set to get even better this year.

      I could go on but my comment would be too long and I think I've made my point, Mills is more likely to medal in Birmingham than in Munich.

      Comment


      • Ladyloz
        Ladyloz commented
        Editing a comment
        Tyra Gittens seems to be focusing on the jumps so far this season - no idea if that's a temporary or permanent move. And Georgia Ellenwood injured herself indoors, quite a serious one (achilles I believe)

        With Europeans, it will surely be tough for Holly to compete strongly there after competing in Birmingham. It's pretty much the same timeframe as that between Eugene and Brum, although no Jet lag at least.

      • RunUnlimited
        RunUnlimited commented
        Editing a comment
        @Ladyloz
        You're right about Gittens, but I think we should wait until the end of May to make a judgement over whether she's focusing on just the high or long jumps. Usually at around this time in May are the SEC Outdoor Championships - Combined Events that are held in Texas, the home state of her college. She competed in the heptathlon there each year she's been in attendance. If she doesn't compete in them, then I'd say that's a good sign she is looking at the jumps more. We'll see.

        As for Ellenwood, I didn't know that she'd injured herself. I thought she was waiting to make her outdoor debut in Gotzis or Arona, but I guess her absence is explained now.

        If both of them are not available for the CWG, then unless KJT springs as surprise and does decide to give them a go (a big "If"), then I can't honestly see anybody in the Commonwealth who is currently good enough to beat Mills. Heck, if Jade O'Dowda and Jodie Smith come through with the type of form they've shown in some of their early season efforts in individual events, it's possible for there to be an England 1-2-3 on the medal podium in Birmingham!

    • #4
      That's if England has the number of spaces to fill the heptathlon with three athletes. The quota isn't huge so I wonder if a lot of events will have 2 athletes max and to make sure that at least every event has one entrant.

      Comment


      • #5
        Originally posted by carterhatch View Post
        When Niamh Emerson didn't make the recent BUCS event I feared the worse Sensible long term planning by Holly Mills? I suspect KJT might give the Hep a miss at CGs, but might go along for HJ/LJ [I dont know if timetable allows both] which opens up the chances of a gold medal.
        im reading that article as more explaining where shes been for the last few years , rather than her having any current injuries, i guess we will see in a few weeks

        Comment


        • #6
          Originally posted by RunUnlimited View Post

          An eminently sensible decision from Mills, considering the crowded championship schedule this year and the relative levels of competition between the WCs, ECs and CWG. And the fact that she feels that she can actually *win* either the Euros or Commonwealth Games is indicative of her growing confidence.

          As for whether she *can* win those championships is a different matter of course. Of the two, I would say that the CWG would be by far the best chance Mills had of potentially winning gold, if we consider the levels of competition she could face in both. I've been doing a little digging through the stats on the World Athletics page, focusing on heptathletes representing Commonwealth only over the last 4 years to try and see what trends there have been during that period. If we leave out the Covid-disrupted 2020, Great Britain (via KJT) have usually had the top points scorer on that list during that period, apart from last year with Johnson-Thompson's Tokyo DNF.

          Out of the field that I saw, I think there are two contenders who could prevent Mills from winning gold; there's 2021 NCAA heptathlon champion Tyra Gittens from Trinidad & Tobago, who set a national record score of 6418 points when winning the SEC Championships for her university, Texas A&M last May. She also represented her nation at last year's Olympics in the long jump, where she has a personal best of 6.96m and is also a world class high jumper with a 1.95m PB that she's managed the last two years. (Incidentally, the 6.96m LJ was from that SEC heptathlon win, and is one of the longest jumps recorded in a heptathlon in recent years)
          She's a good 100m hurdler (13.21 PB, 2018) and an improving 200m runner (23.43 PB, 2021). She's solid with the shot put (13.89m PB, 2019) and has gone beyond 40 meters in the javelin (41.24m PB, 2021). However, she does have one very big and obvious weakness, and that is her 800m. The 23 year old only has a lifetime best of 2:28.52 and if Mills is, say, within 150 points of Gittens by the time they get to the last event, then the latter would stand no chance of hanging on to her advantage against someone who is almost a full 20 seconds faster.

          The other gold medal hopefully is Canadian Georgia Ellenwood, also an NCAA heptathlon champion back in 2018 and with a 6314 PB score, set at the Ratingen meeting last year. She is fairly solid over most events, with a good javelin (48.57m PB, 2021) and is much better 800m runner than Gittens (2:11.45 PB, 2021).

          Apart from those two, there is no-one else listed who has scored 6000+ points during that four year period who could potentially threaten Mills (Niki Oudenaarden, Canada, was the next best with a 6053 from 2019, but she hasn't competed since then. GB's Katie Stainton hasn't really been near to the form that got her a 6029 PB in the same year, and the other Canadian on that list, Nina Schultz, now goes by Ninali Zheng and competes for China since 2019. As an aside, last year she scored 6358 points and would certainly have been a serious contender if she still represented the nation of her birth)

          So Mills has a great chance of gold in Birmingham if she stays fit and shows the sorts of improvements that she displayed at the WIC in March outdoors.

          The European Championships would be a much tougher proposition however. Even if the two big guns KJT and Thiam don't decide to compete in Munich, there would still be a big list of women who currently have better PBs than Mills who would present a serious challenge to her medal chances. You have the Dutch pair of Anouk Vetter and Emma Oosterwegel, the Olympic silver and bronze medallists respectively, both with 6500+ PBs. Then there is Xenia Krizsan of Hungary who won last year's Gotzis meeting with a 6651 PB and NR, the Belgian no.2 Noor Vidts, current WI pentathlon champion, who scored 6571 on her way to 4th at the Tokyo Olympics and is set to get even better this year.

          I could go on but my comment would be too long and I think I've made my point, Mills is more likely to medal in Birmingham than in Munich.
          Kate O’Connor is also eligibility through northern Irish residency, but generally speaking the women’s multis aren't as strong as the men’s at commonwealth level. Australia used to produce a few decent multi events but haven’t in the recent past. So does that make a commonwealth gold slightly less prestigious, either way Holly may never get another chance to win a home gold so I can see her logic. I read somewhere last year that KJT was planning on doing Eugene and Birmingham in the hep, no Gotzis or Munich, but I suspect that’s subject to change. There are quite a few battling it out for the third berth. O’Dowda, Smith, Barber, Stainton, the English champs are in Bedford at the end of the month and may go some way to settle selection

          Comment


          • #7
            Katie Stainton competed at Rantingen over the weekend. It wasn't her best weekend and she was a DNS in the 800 so not helped her cause.

            I believe both Holly and Kate O'Connor are competing in Gotzis so will be interesting to see their head to head there.

            Comment


            • RunUnlimited
              RunUnlimited commented
              Editing a comment
              Yeah I watched Stainton compete in Ratingen on the livestream over the weekend and her performances across the event were pretty poor by her standards.

              Mills and O'Conner will be a very good watch no doubt, not least because of whatever the uncertainty surrounding Kate's coaching situation with Minichello's ban and how that might have disrupted her training etc.

              I think that Holly Mills would be really disappointed with a score that was no better than her PB from last year's Euro U23s and would probably expect herself to score above the WC qualifying standard of 6420. She could do that if she finally nails the long jump like she did in the WIC, goes close to or over 40m in the javelin, and shot puts at her best.

          • #8
            Originally posted by Runner88 View Post
            That's if England has the number of spaces to fill the heptathlon with three athletes. The quota isn't huge so I wonder if a lot of events will have 2 athletes max and to make sure that at least every event has one entrant.
            The quota has been increased from 68 to 70!!! Reading the selection document I think they'll be prioritising those who can finish top 8 and challenge for medals, rather than trying to divvy it up between events.

            Comment


            • #9
              From Facebook: Eilish McColgan wants to do the 10K (relying on the discretionary pick after not doing the trials) and possibly also 5K at the Worlds, definitely both at the Commonwealths, and then maybe EEuros depending on how the first two go. That seems quite an ambitious programme.

              Comment

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