Friday, June 14, 2024

Johnson-Thompson headlines strong British team for European Championships

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Joining KJT in Rome are world silver medallists and reigning European champions Keely Hodgkinson (800m) and Matthew Hudson-Smith (400m) as well as world 100m bronze medallist and reigning 200m European champion Zharnel Hughes.

Opting for the 100m this time around, Hughes will be hoping to go one better after finishing second to reigning Olympic champion Marcell Jacobs of Italy two years ago.

Hodgkinson and Hudson-Smith, meanwhile, will look to defend their crowns in Rome, having emerged victorious in the 2022 edition of the competition.

The European Athletics Championships are Europe’s elite continental outdoor athletics competition, running in the Italian capital from 7-12 June and will be the perfect showcase for elite athletics ahead of the Paris Olympics this summer.

Also descending on the Italian capital are world indoor champion Molly Caudery and Olympic bronze medallist Holly Bradshaw, as well as 2019’s 200m champion Dina Asher-Smith, sprinter Daryll Neita and world indoor 800m silver medallist Jemma Reekie.

Meanwhile, women’s 1500m medal magnet Laura Muir and men’s 1500m world champion Josh Kerr are the notable standout names not featuring at 
next month’s European Championships.

Great Britain won 20 medals, including six golds at the previous European Championships in 2022 and the team will be hoping to exceed that total by the time they depart Rome.

With the likes of KJT, Hodgkinson, Hudson-Smith and Hughes all set to feature in the Eternal City, the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team will arrive in Rome with a wealth of experience.

UK Athletics’ head coach Paula Dunn was effusive about the talent at her disposal.

She said: “I am really pleased with the team we have announced today that will compete in the European Athletics Championships.

“It is incredibly strong with a high number of athletes feeling that Rome will form an important part of their preparations for Paris.

“For some athletes, winning a medal in Rome will be the perfect preparation for the Olympics, for others competing here will provide a benchmark as to where they are knowing that their peak performance needs to come at the start of August.

“There is also a good blend of athletes who can use this championship to step up and fuel their aims of qualifying for Paris and onto Tokyo World Championships in 2025.”

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