Owen Smith booked his Euro spot at February's trails where fellow Welshman Joe Brier won. Pic: Alex Livesey - British Athletics via Getty Images

Joe Brier And Piers Copeland Handed Euro Slots For Poland

By Gareth James

Joe Brier and Piers Copleland will be bidding for Euro glory in Poland after being named in Britain’s team for the Indoor Championships from March 4-7.

The Welsh Athletics duo’s selection for Torun was confirmed following their victories in the 400m and 1500m respectively at the trails over the weekend.

The duo will be joined in the 41-strong GB squad by Cardiff’s Owen Smith who has been named in the relay after finishing second to Brier in Manchester.

Swansea Harrier Brier booked his spot after setting a magnificent personal best of 46.81 secs to win the 400m A final.

Piers Copeland has been impressive over 1500m distance indoors this winter. Pic: Alex Livesey – British Athletics via Getty Images.

“I’m on cloud nine at the moment, I’ve never hit a standard like that before and it’s my first senior standard so I’m really chuffed.,” said Brier, coached in Cardiff by former GB runner Matt Elias.

Cardiff-based Copeland, who has recently qualified to compete for Wales, won the 1500m in 3:52.17.

He had set a new Welsh record of just seven days beforehand of 3:38.55, breaking the 17-year-old mark of James Thie.

England’s Verity Ockenden, who compete for Swansea Harriers, has also been selected in the 3,000m.

Former Wales sprinter Christian Malcolm is now British Athletics head coach. Pic: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Christian Malcolm, the former Wales and GB international sprinter who is now Olympic Head Coach at British Athletics, Christian Malcolm, hailed the performances of the athletes in difficult times due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“I’m pleased to be selecting such a strong Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for the European Indoor Championships next month,” said Malcolm.

“It has been a challenging time for all athletes and coaches recently, but we have seen some incredible performances.

“Of course, we are looking to maximise the number of opportunities to win medals, but it is also about providing opportunities for developing athletes as well as established athletes to achieve a GB&NI vest.

“We have a real mix in the squad with several young athletes demonstrating their potential in really challenging circumstances. I am really looking forward to seeing how the team perform in Torun.

“We are awaiting decisions from European Athletics on several field event nominations that we have put forward, so we hope to add several other athletes to the team later this week.”

The British Athletics team for the European Athletics Indoor Championships 4-7 March 2021:

Women: 400m:

Jessie Knight (Marina Armstrong; Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow)

Ama Pipi (Linford Christie; Enfield & Haringey)

Jodie Williams (Ryan Freckleton; Herts Phoenix)

800m:

Ellie Baker (Jon Bigg; Shaftesbury Barnet)

Isabelle Boffey (Luke Gunn; Enfield & Haringey)

Keely Hodgkinson (Trevor Painter; Leigh)

1500m:

Holly Archer (Andrew Parmenter; Cambridge & Coleridge)

Katie Snowden (Dan Stepney; Herne Hill)

3000m:

Amy-Eloise Markovc (Chris Fox; Wakefield)

Verity Ockenden (Tony Houchin; Swansea)

Amelia Quirk (Mick Woods; Bracknell)

4x400m Relay:

Zoey Clark (Eddie McKenna; Thames Valley)

Beth Dobbin (Leon Baptiste; Edinburgh)

Jessie Knight (Marina Armstrong; Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow)

Yasmin Liverpool (Stewart Marshall; Coventry)

Ama Pipi (Linford Christie; Enfield & Haringey)

Jodie Williams (Ryan Freckleton; Herts Phoenix)

60m Hurdles:

Emma Nwofor (Newham & Essex Beagles)

Tiffany Porter (Jeff Porter; Woodford Green Essex Ladies)

Cindy Sember (Jeff Porter; Woodford Green Essex Ladies)

Pole Vault:

Holly Bradshaw (Scott Simpson; Blackburn)

Long Jump:

Abigail Irozuru (self-coached; Sale Harriers Manchester)

Shot Put:

Sophie McKinna (Mike Winch; Great Yarmouth)

Pentathlon:

Holly Mills (Laura Turner-Alleyne; Andover)

Men:

60m:

Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Benke Blomkvist; Sutton & District)

Oliver Bromby (Marvin Rowe; Southampton)

Andrew Robertson (Sam Robertson; Sale Harriers Manchester)

400m:

Joe Brier (Matt Elias; Swansea)

Lee Thompson (John Henson; Sheffield & Dearne)

James Williams (Paul Waters; Liverpool)

800m:

Elliot Giles (Jon Bigg; Birchfield)

Guy Learmonth (Justin Rinaldi; Lasswade)

Jamie Webb (Adrian Webb; Liverpool)

1500m:

Piers Copeland (Bob Smith; Wimborne)

Archie Davis (Joel Kidger; Brighton Phoenix)

Neil Gourley (Ben Thomas; Giffnock North)

3000m:

Andrew Butchart (Barry Fudge; Central)

Jack Rowe (Tim Eglen; Aldershot Farnham & District)

Marc Scott (Jerry Schumacher; Cambridge & Coleridge)

4x400m Relay:

Joe Brier (Matt Elias; Swansea)

Efe Okoro (Tony Hadley; Birchfield Harriers)

Tom Somers (Newham & Essex Beagles)

Owen Smith (Matt Elias; Cardiff)

Lee Thompson (John Henson; Sheffield & Dearne)

James Williams (Paul Waters; Liverpool)

60m Hurdles:

Andrew Pozzi (Santiago Antunez; Stratford-upon-Avon)

Long Jump:

Jacob Fincham-Dukes (Matt Barton; Leeds City)

 

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