With the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland on the horizon it was time for the best of Britain to gather in front of an enthusiastic capacity crowd at the EIS Arena in Sheffield for the 2016 British Athletics Indoor Championships.
As well as a packed arena many athletics fans around the country took to their laptops or tablets to watch the event in the comfort of their own home courtesy of a live stream provided by British Athletics after a few teething problems were solved.
Some high profile names made the decision to not to attend and miss the indoor season to allow them to focus solely on the outdoor season due to Rio but that didn’t detract from the weekends action.
Highlights from day one included:
Not everyone can get to every athletics event. The Glasgow Indoors Grand Prix was one of the meets that I couldn’t attend, but I enjoyed watching it from the sofa at home. So here’s a blog with a difference – some comments on the events and some on the TV coverage.
I was most impressed by some gutsy performances from British women. Seren Bundy-Davies, who did have the world lead, took off from the front in the 400m to run out of steam just before the line – but she really took it to the competition. Laura Muir, running a shorter event than we’re used to, came a creditable second in the 800m with a personal best. And it was great to see Steph Twell getting back toward her best after a relatively lean few years with a PB in the 3000 metres.
If you managed to get to the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix you will have seen an article in the programme by our very own Eve Langford. If you didn't, here it is in full...
"The squeak of trainers.The crash of reversaboards. The roar of the crowd.
There’s nothing quite like it; the indoor athletics season is upon us and once you’ve got the indoor athletics bug, there’s no going back.
Admittedly the athletes won’t be using reversaboards or tripping over shin-height foam hurdles at the Glasgow Grand Prix, but the crowd will be deafening.
There are so many reasons why indoor events are a must-see feature of a British Athletics Supporters Club member’s calendar.
Some of the world’s best athletes are here in Glasgow to prepare themselves for the World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon.
Whether you want to see the fastest Dutch woman of all time, Dafne Schippers blast off in the 60 metres or see our very own double Olympic champion Mo Farah go for gold once again, in the indoors you are never far from the action.
Today I attended the Vault Manchester event, second in the Vault Britain series. There’s nothing quite like getting back into an athletics arena after a few months out. The last live athletics event I saw was the Sainsburys School Games here in Manchester - a fantastic day which gave a real insight into the ones to watch for the next few years.
Vault Britain is a relatively new nationwide event, that takes its roots from regional vault competitions that clubbed together a few years ago to provide vaulters with a winter series in which to prepare themselves for the coming season. The organisers were full of enthusiasm for the event and the feeling was infectious. I chatted to a number of the athletes who were enjoying the atmosphere and level of the competition; the men’s elite event boasted the top four ranked athletes in the UK going head to head.
Here’s wishing all our members, and all British athletes, coaches, officials, and volunteers a very happy and successful New Year! And it is Olympic Year. Are you excited? I am. Maybe not quite as much as in 2012 – you can’t beat a home Olympics – but it promises to be quite a year.
The Beijing World Championships promised much for British athletes, so I can’t wait for Rio. Will our gold medallists do the business again? Can Mo continue his superhuman efforts with an Olympic double-double and prove beyond all doubt that he is our greatest ever Olympic athlete? Will the competitor par excellence – Greg Rutherford – battle his way to retain his Olympic title? Can Jess Ennis-Hill sign off with Olympic Gold, or will KJT regain her nerve – particularly on the jumps run-up – to take her crown?