Gateshead shuns men’s 200m event
Great Britain 200m sprinter Christian Malcolm will have no race in Gateshead
Organisers have dropped the men’s 200m event from this summer’s British Grand Prix in Gateshead because of recent underachievement by UK sprinters.
Promoters Fast Track are prefering instead to stage a 110m hurdles race at the prestigious June 11 event.
“We have a duty to showcase the very best British talent in these events,” said Fast Track boss Jon Ridgeon.
“At the moment we cannot justify having a men’s 200m in each of our grands prix as has been the case in the past.”
Olympic 2000 silver medallist Darren Campbell was the last 200m runner to reach a major final when finishing fourth at the 2003 World Championships.
And British sprinters failed to reach the finals at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, 2005 World Championships and this year’s Commonwealth Games.
But Ridgeon - himself the 1987 World Championships 110m hurdles silver medallist - said the Gateshead policy would not apply to other meetings.
He said: “Our 200m boys will have the chance to show what they can do at the London Grand Prix and the Norwich Union International in Birmingham later in the summer.”
The 110m hurdles at Gateshead will feature Jamaica’s Commonwealth champion Maurice Wignall against Scotland’s Chris Baillie and England’s Andy Turner, who won silver and bronze respectively in Melbourne in March.
Ridgeon added: “It is only proper that our Commonwealth medal-winning hurdlers should have that success recognised with the chance to compete in the big events on home soil.”