Katie Snowden selected for Tokyo Olympics

Photo credit Chris Cooper

Herne Hill Harriers middle distance star Katie Snowden has been selected to represent Great Britain at the Tokyo Olympic Games for which the track and field athletics begins on 30th July.

27 year old Snowden was left with an anxious wait to be informed of her inclusion on the GB team after claiming her second consecutive British outdoor 1500m bronze medal at the Olympic Trials meeting in Manchester on Saturday afternoon. In any other year this would be a really good achievement,  but this was not the colour medal she ideally needed on this occasion. Her 4:08.62 in placing a very close third was just one tenth of a second away from 2nd place which would have guaranteed her seat on a plane to Tokyo as an automatic selection. 

However her excellent form so far this season during which she has twice run inside the qualifying standard saw her named on the team in the official British Athletics announcement on Tuesday morning. Snowden has come a long way since her long injury in 2019 threatened to derail her career and she thoroughly deserves this opportunity.

Herne Hill’s other Olympic aspirant, Kristal Awuah finished a good fourth in a very strong 100m final in a season’s best time of 11.23. The race was won by potential Olympic medallist Dina Asher Smith and was one of the highlights of Saturday afternoon’s competition.

Then on Sunday Awuah followed up her 100m with eighth in the final event of the weekend, a 200m final which she was running off her 100m training, clocking 23.82 into a minus 2.9 m/s wind.

Disappointingly Awuah was omitted from the sprint relay squad for Tokyo despite showing good enough form to have justified her place. She will now focus on competing for Great Britain in the 100m and 4 x 100m relay at the European Under 23 Championship in Tallinn next month.

Phoebe Anderson also won a bronze medal in Manchester in the Under 20 3000m Championship race on Friday evening with a PB 9:34.79 which should reinforce her own hopes for selection at 5000m for the GB team for the European Junior Championship in Tallinn later this month. The official announcement for this team will be at the beginning of next week.

Other Harriers athletes to compete in Manchester over the weekend were also females and are both still under 23 competitors up against the senior athletes. Ore Adamson finished fourth in the triple jump with her best for the day being 12.24m on Saturday, while on Friday Havana Allistone-Greaves ran 61.55 for third in her heat of a strong 400m hurdles event.

Last Wednesday evening a number of Herne Hill athletes went along to the Cambridge Harriers Open/ Regional BMC Meeting, of whom many were from James McDonald’s young middle distance squad among whom Snowden started out when racing as a schoolgirl.

There were three other Harriers also competing. Senior Mike Cummings was fifth in the BMC 800m B race in 2:01.76, in the 800m E race Annabel Hobday (U23) was fifth in 2:14.22 and Poppy Craig McFeely (U17) was ninth in 2:20.72.

The Herne Hill young athletes racing in the BMC 800m started with Harvey Kande (U17) who ran in the C Race and crept closer to two minutes with a PB 2:02.78. In the D Race Jacob Alley (U20) ran his best 800m to date also with a PB in 2:05.13. In the F Race Freddie Hake (U15) was just outside his PB in 2:17.43 with Sophia Sahai (U15) 2:22.67 also just outside her PB.          

In the BMC 1500m C race Keeran Sriskandarajar (U15) produced a quality run, beating older athletes with a new 4:16.94 PB. In the BMC 1500m D race Archie Penniceard (U15) and Fabien Whitelock (U15) had a battle to the finish line with Whitelock equalling his PBwith 4:37.91 to grab first place and Penniceard in second with 4:38.14, a huge PB. 

In the Cambridge Harriers Open 1500m Race 2, Jon Goldston (U15) ran his best race to date to win with a PB of 4:48.65. In the same race Orla Carroll (U15) also ran a PB time with 5:04.46. Josh Maguire (U15) ran the 800m with a time of 2:20.73.

Geoff Jerwood with input from James McDonald for the Eltham races