ASHA PHILIP

THE EURO­PEAN CHAM­PION IS LOOK­ING FOR­WARD TO AN­OTHER GLOBAL EVENT ON BRI­TISH SOIL IN BIRM­ING­HAM

Athletics Weekly - - News - WORDS: JES­SICA WHITTINGTON PIC­TURE: MARK SHEAR­MAN

Euro­pean cham­pion can’t wait to com­pete on home soil again

FOL­LOW­ING an in­cred­i­ble sum­mer of world ath­let­ics in the UK, Asha Philip is among those rel­ish­ing the op­por­tu­nity to com­pete on home soil again when Birm­ing­ham hosts the IAAF World In­door Cham­pi­onships next March.

Philip en­joyed a su­perb in­door sea­son ear­lier this year as she broke the Bri­tish

60m record to claim Euro­pean gold in Bel­grade. Car­ry­ing that fine form into next year is the aim for the 26-year-old, who formed part of Great Bri­tain’s sil­ver medal-win­ning 4x100m re­lay team at the IAAF World Cham­pi­onships in Lon­don and also reached the semi-finals of the in­di­vid­ual 100m.

“I love do­ing the 60m and the fact that it’s an­other home cham­pi­onships, I don’t re­ally want to miss out on that,” says the Ne­wham & Es­sex Bea­gles sprinter, who ran 7.06 in Ser­bia to be­come the fastest ever Bri­tish fe­male over 60m. “If all goes well I will be com­pet­ing. I know it’s two spots this time as op­posed to three in the Euro­peans but I have a good chance.

“Now be­ing the na­tional record-holder and win­ning the Euro­peans, hope­fully I’ll be a mas­sive con­tender.”

Re­flect­ing on 2017, which has also seen her be­come the Bri­tish cham­pion over both 60m and 100m, Philip adds: “I’ve had a fan­tas­tic year. Ob­vi­ously as ath­letes we al­ways want more but I’m go­ing to em­brace it all and hope­fully carry it on into next year.”

Philip has gained many fans as her im­pres­sive per­for­mances are ac­com­pa­nied by a bub­bly at­ti­tude and a fa­mous fight­ing spirit that has seen her bat­tle back from ca­reer-threat­en­ing in­jury.

Now she ap­pre­ci­ates ev­ery op­por­tu­nity she has to take to the track – even more so when it means rac­ing in front of home fans.

“I re­ally am look­ing for­ward to that cham­pi­onships be­cause a home crowd is in­sane,” she smiles, look­ing ahead to the

World In­doors in Birm­ing­ham, con­sid­ered by many to be the home of ath­let­ics.

“Birm­ing­ham has a fan­tas­tic track, the warm-up area is bril­liant. I hope ev­ery­one does buy their tick­ets and comes out to sup­port us be­cause it will be a spec­tac­u­lar event.

“Brits know how to do it (put on an event) and all the other coun­tries know that the Brits know how to do it well. They love their sport so we re­ally hope that ev­ery­one will turn out and watch.”

n The IAAF World In­door Cham­pi­onships Birm­ing­ham 2018 will be staged at Arena Birm­ing­ham from March 1-4 with more than 400 ath­letes from 150 dif­fer­ent coun­tries ex­pected to com­pete. For more in­for­ma­tion on the event, tick­ets and news please visit wicbirm­ing­ham2018.com

Asha Philip: Euro­pean in­door cham­pion

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