Cham­pi­onships on track but big names stay away

The Daily Telegraph - Business - - Sport Athletics - By Ben Bloom

The head of UK Ath­let­ics has lamented the lack of big names due to com­pete at next month’s Bri­tish Cham­pi­onships, which she in­sists will take place in Manch­ester de­spite an es­ca­la­tion in coro­n­avirus num­bers in the area.

Hav­ing been pushed back from June to Au­gust, and then again to its cur­rent slot of Sept 4-5, the event has come un­der threat due to a rise in Covid-19 cases.

Joanna Coates, UK Ath­let­ics chief ex­ec­u­tive, said the flex­i­bil­ity re­mained to move to a fourth po­ten­tial date, but the out­look re­mained “pos­i­tive” for next month.

“At the mo­ment can­cel­la­tion isn’t be­ing spo­ken about at all,” she said.

Mo Farah and Kata­rina John­sonThomp­son are due to com­pete in Brus­sels on the same week­end, while the likes of Dina Asher-Smith, Laura Muir, Adam Gemili and Jemma Reekie have not signed up.

“I’ve got to say I’m dis­ap­pointed be­cause we’d want them there and Bri­tish TV view­ers would love to see them,” Coates said. “It is dis­ap­point­ing they are not there, but there’s still go­ing to be some fan­tas­tic ath­letes on show.”

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