Strong fields for Continental Tour in Manchester

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BoXX United Manchester World Athletics Continental Tour Silver meeting on June 3 will give Brits a taste of international competition in north-west England

Three weeks before Sport City stages the Müller UK Athletics Championships, the Manchester venue will host a Continental Tour Silver meeting on Friday (Jnue 3).

The event, which is organised by Vicente Modahl, sees some of Britain’s leading athletes up against international visitors in a similar but even grander style to the Manchester World Indoor Silver meeting that was held in January.

Both the indoor and outdoor events at Sport City are sponsored by BoXX United and the goal is to grow this month’s meeting so that it enjoys an upgrade to Continental Tour Gold status.

George Manangoi, a Kenyan with a 1500m best of 3:31.49 and who beat Jakob Ingebrigtsen to gold at the world under-20 title four years ago, leads the entries for the metric mile. Up against him is an international field that includes a number of up-and-coming Brits such as Henry McLuckie, Thomas Keen and Ethan Hussey.

George Manangoi beats Jakob Ingebrigtsen (Getty)

Edward Zakayo is another Kenyan with a world under-20 crown from 2018 on his resume. He took the 5000m title in Tampere four years ago and in Manchester heads the line-up for the men’s 5000m in a field that includes Ugandan Oscar Chelimo, Norway’s Henrik Ingebrigtsen and Brits Andy Butchart, Jack Rowe and Tom Mortimer.

The women’s 5000m has a similar landscape with Ugandan record-holder Sarah Chelangat hopefully stretching British challengers like Verity Ockenden and Jenny Nesbitt.

Fresh from her recent Irish 800m record of 1:59.42, Louise Shanahan takes on Brits Adele Tracey and Isabel Boffey over two laps, plus sub-two-minute runner Noélie Yarigo of Benin.

Louise Shanahan (Sam Barnes/Sportsfile)

A quality women’s steeplechase will see Aimee Pratt, the recent UK record-breaker over 2000m ‘chase, up against Marusa Mismas of Slovenia and Luiza Gega of Albania.

Ben Pattison has shown great form so far this summer – with a clear win in the 800m B race at the Diamond League in Birmingham – and here he takes on Erik Sowinski, the 2016 world indoor bronze medallist from the United States, plus sub-1:45 men Tshepo Tshite of South Africa and Javier Mirón of Spain.

In the sprints, local favourite Andy Robertson faces Gift Leotlela, a 9.94 man from South Africa who reached the Olympic semi-finals last year, while the women’s 100m field sees sub-11-second runner Kayla White of the United States against Brits Desiree Henry, Ashleigh Nelson and Bianca Williams.

The pole vault includes American Cole Walsh and British talent Charlie Myers, while the men’s discus sees a number of Britain’s best such as national record-holder Lawrence Okoye, Greg Thompson and Nick Percy.

Charlie Myers (Mark Shearman)

Brooke Bushchkuehl, the Australian long jump record-holder with 7.05m and Olympic finalist in 2016 and 2021, takes on Britain’s Abigail Irozuru among others.

“Our goal was to establish an international high calibre track meet in Manchester,” Modahl told AW. “As we know we have excellent facilities with a 6500-seater stadium that we wanted to utilise in a way that we could deliver an event annually for the city.

“It’s also at the premises of the 2002 Commonwealth Games, which we fought so hard with the city to get. We finally wanted an athletics legacy on the track.”

To buy tickets, go here.

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