Chalmers seals Worlds spot with third British title

It was mission well and truly accomplished for Alastair Chalmers on Saturday.

Alastair Chalmers won his third successive national 400m hurdles title in Manchester. (Picture by PA Images, 30969127)
Alastair Chalmers won his third successive national 400m hurdles title in Manchester. (Picture by PA Images, 30969127)

Guernsey’s 400m hurdles ace achieved the breathtaking feat of a third straight British title, in doing so earning automatic qualification for next month’s World Championships in Oregon.

And, to make the occasion even sweeter, his winning time of 49.21sec. stood as a new stadium record at Manchester’s Regional Arena.

The competition at this year’s UK Championships was several notches above Chalmers’ previous experiences, with Friday’s heats providing a reminder that there was no room for complacency – he qualified only fourth-fastest.

For practically the whole of his heat, the 22-year-old had lagged Notts AC’s fast-starting Maranga Mokaya before coming off the final barrier stronger and edging a win.

But, in a final staged in blustery and overcast conditions, the pre-competition favourite left nothing to chance.

He shot into an immediate lead and converted that into an impressive victory from World Championships man Chris McAlister (49.40) and 2019 winner Jacob Paul (49.89).

His rapturous celebrations showed how much that meant to him.

‘Honestly, the field this year was completely stacked,’ he said.

‘This is probably the first race of my season I’ve gone into with an absolute “at it” attitude.

‘I just went all in today and the reward was that gold medal.’

Chalmers made his own slice of history in taking that gold, becoming the first man to win three consecutive 400m hurdles titles since the change to the modern British Championships format in 2007. The legendary Dai Greene won five in that period but not consecutively.

Competing in the same event, Peter Curtis did not progress after running 53.22sec. for fifth in his heat.

In a quality-packed women’s 200m event, Abi Galpin ran a solid 23.98 for sixth in her heat, boosted by a 3.7m/s tailwind.

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