Beth Kidger (r) recently earned her senior British vest after stepping up the distance this season. Pic: Owen Morgan

Beth Kidger Steps Up To 5000m And Straight Into GB Team As Cardiff Sprint Duo Sam Gordon And Jeremiah Azu Also Selected

By Owen Morgan

Cardiff sprinters Sam Gordon and Jeremiah Azu are joined by distance runner Beth Kidger in the Great Britain team for the European Athletics Team Championships Super League later this month.

The three Welsh athletes will travel to Silesia in Poland to take on France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Ukraine and the host nation in the two day fixture on May 29-30.

Brighton Phoenix athlete Kidger, who has moved up to compete over 5,000m this season, earns her first Great Britain senior vest.

The former Welsh indoor 1500m champion said of her selection: “I’ve always dreamt of representing Great Britain.

Speed merchant Sam Gordon launched his summer campaign with a victory. Pic: Owen Morgan.

“So to have been selected to run for GB at the European Team Champs is a huge milestone for me.

“This year I have decided to try stepping up a distance and get the 5,000m, so to be selected after my first race is extremely exciting!”

Kidger clocked 15:53.60 to finish second at the BMC Grand Prix in Stratford on May 8.

Azu, a member of the British Athletics Futures Academy, will also be earning his first senior GB vest, alongside Cardiff clubmate Gordon in the 4x100m squad.

Both were in good form at the weekend when they took part in the Birchfield Harriers National Athletics League Warm-up event in Nuneaton.

In the first round of races, Gordon finished first in 10.43 on his first appearance of the season, while Azu was third in a season’s best of 10.47.

In the second round, Azu had the better of things running a wind assisted 10.30, while Gordon’s 10.35 was also wind-assisted.

Jeremiah Azu will be looking to earn first senior GB vest. Pic: Owen Morgan

Commenting on the selection for the Super League, Great Britain Olympic head coach Christian Malcolm said: “We have a rich history in this competition, so it was very important for us to take on our European competitors and earn as many points as possible.

“We have selected a team who will be pushing for every point across the board, so I am excited to see how these athletes will perform in Poland. It is a squad with a blend of some experienced GB & NI internationals but also a high number of developing athletes who will really benefit from this opportunity.

“As is consistent with our approach to British teams this year, athletes were given the option to opt-in or opt-out of this event.

“With the Müller British Athletics Championships just under six weeks away, and the Olympic Games on the horizon, we recognise that every athlete’s plan is going to be different, so we are supporting all athletes to achieve what they feel is the best preparation possible.”

The former Cardiff, Wales and Great Britain sprint star added: “In terms of the 4x100m and 4x400m relay teams, this event will provide a valuable opportunity to try out different combinations and options as we look ahead beyond Tokyo.

“I’m looking forward to seeing this group of athletes step up to the challenge at this event.”

The full team for Silesia can be found on the British Athletics website.

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