This is the second article by Stuart Weir on the 2023 British Indoor Champs, held Saturday and Sunday, February 18-19, 2023, in Birmingham, England.
The day one program started with the event that I was most looking forward to, the women’s 60m, with seven prelims getting the program underway at precisely 11.26, followed by 3 semi-finals from 3.10p and a final at 4.45pm, it seemed to represent continuity in the program. Dina Asher-Smith ran a new British record of 7.04 before ending her indoor season and Darryl Neita just failed to match it, running 7.05 in Germany.
Neita was clearly the lady to beat but no one could, as she ran 7.37, 7.18, and 7.17 to win comfortably. Neita commented: “I came here to get the gold and run some decent times, which I think I did that today. I will definitely go back and watch these three races with my coaches to see what I can improve on, as there is always something. Looking into the outdoor season, I am just going to replicate what I have done in the indoor. I give a lot away in the first 60m which is why I have come here to try and perfect the start of my races”.
Asha Philip was second in 7.21. It has been a strange season for Asha, twice being disqualified for a false-start – one of which became a cause celebre on Twitter, with lots of people saying that they had watched the race video several times and could detect no premature movement. Asha is a brilliant 60m sprinter – European champion in 2017 and bronze medalist 2 years later – but at 32 one might wonder if her best years were behind her. It did not look like it as she stormed through to take second place and presumably a ticket to this year’s championships. She commented: “I’m happy with that race, I had a rocky start to this season but it’s not how you started, it’s how you finish, so I’m very happy where I have ended up with a silver medal, and qualified for the Europeans in a couple of weeks”.
Asha Philip, Daryl Neita, Alisha Rees, photo by Getty Images for British Athletics
Alisha Rees was third in 7.30, following an earlier 7.28, frustratingly one100th of a second outside her own Scottish record. Joy Eze was 4th in 7:31. Third in the European U20s in 2021, Eze, who is still only 18, was taking valuable experience from the day.
Bianca Williams – watched by her son – was fifth.
Neita is a serious contender for the European title, where she is likely to meet Mujinga Kambundji – who ran 7.03 today – and Gina Luckenkemper. The last time the three of them met was in Munich last year when one-hundredth of a second over 100 meters separated them.