Top line-ups at the Watford BMC Grand Prix – AW

    Ellie Baker, Marc Scott and Sarah McDonald are among the entries for Saturday’s event, writes Stephen Green

    The women’s 800m proved to be the marquee event in Manchester two weeks ago, with three athletes going sub-two minutes led by a BMC women-only record of 1:58.07 from Phoebe Gill.

    The Watford edition looks no less exciting with locally based GB international Ellie Baker facing a quality field on Saturday (June 8).

    She will go up against Australian Bendere Oboya, who has a personal best of 1:59.01, and Khahisa Mhlanga who broke the two-minute barrier at BMC Watford last year.

    In the men’s race, Reece Sharman-Newell produced a solo 1:46.77 800m in Manchester and will face a tough field including fellow 1:45.58 performer Tiaran Crorken and Archie Davis on the comeback trail, looking to recapture his 1:44.72 form of 2021.

    Reece Sharman-Newell (Zach Bridgeland)

    The women’s 1500m contains another strong field with Sarah McDonald, who ran a 4:03.03 BMC women-only record at Trafford last year, up against the improving Sportcity 1500m winner Bethan Morley (4:11.84) and Harmilan Bains from India (4:05.39).

    An intriguing 1500m entry is former world 5000m indoor bronze medallist Marc Scott, just two months after his marathon debut in London.

    Other entries include 3:36 performers Joe Wigfield, Istvan Szogi of Hungary and Abdellatif Sadiki of Morocco. European under-23 cross-country champion Will Barnicoat is another exciting addition to the metric mile alongside Jack Gumm.

    Marc Scott (Mark Shearman)

    The 5000m races are always a highlight of the Watford GP and expect Brazilian athlete Simine Ferraz, who has a personal best of 15:43.20, to feature in the women’s race.

    A host of Brits will be looking for breakthrough performances including sub-16 athletes Ellie Wallace, Hollie Dixon, Tia Wilson and Bryony Gunn.

    The men’s 5000m contains several distance specialists looking to improve on their early season form, led by Alfie Manthorpe, who ran 13:49.27 in Manchester just two weeks ago.

    Alfie Manthorpe (left) and Dan Nash

    The entries for the 3000m steeplechase are led by Daniel Alvarez De La Cruz from Spain who has a PB of 8:41.21 and Ireland’s Ava O’Connor (PB of 9:54.66).

    “Despite the European Champs going on this weekend, we are delighted that we have managed to get some quality line-ups across the event,” says grand prix director Tim Brennan.

    The event starts at 5pm and tickets are available on the day of the event at £6 (£10 gate) with under-16s free.

    The event will also be streamed by Vinco.

    Full start lists at the BMC website.

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