Great Britain seek success stateside

With the World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon having just started, the 23-person strong British contingent will all be gunning for success. Without the likes of Olympic ‘‘Super Saturday’’ stars Mo Farah, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Greg Rutherford in the squad, the competition represents an opportunity for some of the lesser-known athletes to thrust themselves into the spotlight ahead of this year’s Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Here are five athletes who are in contention across the pond.

James Dasaolu

Age: 28

The second-fastest Briton ever over 100m, Dasaolu had to withdraw from this competition two years ago after sustaining a thigh injury, having sewn up the European 100m title in the same season. A relatively late bloomer having started sprinting at 18, he has certainly made up for lost time and is one of the best sprinters this country has produced in a long time.

Chris Baker

Age: 25

His lack of a Wikipedia page indicates how meteoric the rise of this athlete has been. Despite a relatively modest outdoor PB of 2.27m, he posted a monstrous jump indoors of 2.36m in February this year, which was the joint-second best performance in the world so far in 2016. Such was his performance that he has put 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz in the shade.

Dina Asher-Smith

Age: 20

The second year history student at King’s College London is an elite athlete in the making. Having broken the British women’s 100m record last year (becoming the first woman from these shores to dip under 11 seconds), the Orpington-born sprinter also broke the 200m British outdoor record in 2015. Her indoor form also saw her secure a silver medal in the 60m at last year’s European Championships last year. At this year’s event, she reignites her rivalry with Dutch sensation Dafne Schippers.

Tiffany Porter

Age: 28

The former US athlete is a seasoned campaigner. She broke the British indoor 60m hurdles record back in 2011 having only switched allegiance around six months earlier. Porter has also come close to breaking Ennis-Hill’s outdoor record. Her performances in competition at both distances have been distinguished, and she medalled at the last two World Indoor Championships, securing a bronze and silver in Sopot and Istanbul respectively.

Shara Proctor

Age: 27

Another who switched allegiance (this time from Anguilla), Proctor has gone from strength to strength since first donning a British vest in 2011. In that time she has improved her outdoor PB by nearly 40cm, smashing the British record in the process with a 7.07m jump at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing. She has also dramatically improved her own PB indoors with a leap of 6.91m, coming within a whisker of Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s British record.

Alex Bowmer

Featured image: Christian Petersen/Getty Images


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