GB team Glasgow assessment

The original team consisted of 20 athletes from 15 events, including 6 relay runners. Later, five additional athletes were added. There were 19 women and six men. The GB medal count was two gold, a silver, and a bronze. In terms of the size of the team, it was partly down to the selectors but also to the number of athletes available for selection based on the entry standard.  It seemed shocking not to see a GB men’s 4 by 400 relay team, but then, of the medal-winning Budapest GB relay squad, none had undertaken an indoor season.

GLASGOW, UK – MAR 2 : Image of Molly CAUDERY at the World Athletics Indoor Championships on MAR 2, 2024 in GLASGOW, UK (Photo by Dan Vernon for World Athletics).

Of the medals, Josh Kerr in the 3000m was probably a favorite, and he delivered. Molly Caudery was the World lead in the Pole Vault and a real medal prospect, but gold was a welcome bonus. Jemma Reekie’s silver medal at 800 was a popular success for the Scottish crowd. The bronze in the women’s relay was welcome but not a surprise.

In terms of near medals, Georgia Bell (1500m) and Laviai Nielsen (400m) performed excellently in finishing fourth. Laura Muir fifth in the 3000m, Revee Walcott-Nolan (sixth in the 1500), and Morgan Lake (sixth in the high jump) could be called solid performances. Two other athletes reached the final.

Tsigie Duguma, ETH, takes gold; Jemma Reekie, silver, photo by Martin Bateman.

There were disappointing performances, with two men in the 60m hurdles, neither reaching the final, and an 800m athlete going out at the prelim stage.

Interestingly, of the five athletes added to the team, those in straight-to-final events finished 9th, 10th, 12th, and 13th, with another going out at the prelim stage—perhaps suggesting that the selectors had been too generous rather than the other way around.

GLASGOW, UK – MAR 3 : Image of the winners of the women’s 4x400m relay at World Athletics Indoor Championships on MAR 3, 2024 in GLASGOW, UK (Photo by Dan Vernon for World Athletics).

It is common to add a reference to the Olympic year in any evaluations, but in all honesty, what happened in Glasgow is irrelevant to Paris. Josh Kerr will be a serious contender for the Olympic 1500m gold – but no more so because he won a 3K in Glasgow. Molly Caudery has a chance of medal in Paris, but 4.80 is unlikely to do it. Great to see a happy Jemma Reekie running to silver in the 800, but the Glasgow race is light-years away from an Olympic final with Keely Hodgkinson, Mary Moraa, and Athing Mu, plus whatever Kenyans, Ethiopians, and Americans are in the race.

I found it hard to take President Coe’s Glasgow comment, “We are heading into Paris with the most exciting crop of young [British] athletes I have seen for a few generations,” seriously.

GB’s ten medals in Budapest was a great achievement.  Ten medals in Paris will be an awful lot harder.