World U20 heptathlon champion forms part of 14-strong squad for Cardiff event

World under-20 heptathlon gold medallist Niamh Emerson and Commonwealth decathlon sixth-placer John Lane head the British team for the Indoor Combined Events International Match in Cardiff on January 26-27.

A full 14-strong GB squad will compete against teams from France, the Czech Republic, Spain and Poland in the Welsh capital, which hosts the match for the first time since 2012.

Emerson, who also claimed Commonwealth bronze last year, recently kicked off her 2019 season with two personal bests in the 60m hurdles and the shot put, adding over half a metre to her previous best in the latter.

Ellen Barber took silver behind Ireland’s Kate O’Connor at the England Athletics Senior and Under-20 Indoor Combined Events Championships in Sheffield over the weekend, recording personal bests in the shot put and 60m hurdles and equalling her high jump best of 1.71m. Barber and Emerson will be joined by Alice Hopkins and Lucy Turner in the women’s squad for Cardiff.

Lane claimed his first national indoor heptathlon title in Sheffield, notching an indoor long jump best of 7.33m as he finished over 200 points clear of silver medallist Andrew Murphy.

Fellow Gold Coast decathlete Ben Gregory earns another British vest after securing his first English championship medal since 2015, with Howard Bell completing the senior team.

The 2016 European Youth and 2017 Commonwealth Youth long jump champion Holly Mills and European Youth decathlon sixth-place finisher Jack Turner headline the junior teams.

Mills, who took bronze in last year’s match in Spain, claimed a second straight under-20 pentathlon crown in Cardiff, improving her shot put best by more than half a metre and improving her own championship best to 4051 points in the process.

Amaya Scott was 80 points further back, with three personal bests to add to her overall best score of 3971. Jenna Blundell rounds off the junior women’s team after a third-place finish.

Turner claimed five personal bests and equalled his lifetime bests in the pole vault and high jump on his way to his maiden indoor title, topping the standings on 5329 points and moving ninth on the all-time under-20 indoor heptathlon rankings.

British under-17 heptathlon record-holder Scott Brindley earns his maiden British vest, while Joel McFarlane will hope to improve on his sixth-place finish in Madrid last year.

British team

Senior men
Howard Bell
Ben Gregory
John Lane
Andrew Murphy

Senior women
Ellen Barber
Niamh Emerson
Alice Hopkins
Lucy Turner

Junior men
Scott Brindley
Joel McFarlane
Jack Turner

Junior women
Jenna Blundell
Holly Mills
Amaya Scott

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