Athletics: Jessica Judd named in GB squad for European Championships

By Sam Drury

Last Updated: 15/07/2014, 12:59 GMT

Jessica Judd: Recorded a personal best as she finished third in the 800 metres
Jessica Judd: Recorded a personal best as she finished third in Oslo earlier in the year

Jessica Judd has been named in Great Britain & Northern Ireland's 74-strong squad for the European Championships in Zurich in August.

The 19-year-old Canvey Island athlete was awarded the final women's 800m spot as a result of being the one of only two British women to run under two minutes this year.

Judd finished fourth in the national trials behind Lynsey Sharp and Alison Leonard, who are also in the squad, but two third place finishes in recent Diamond League meetings have shown her true class.

A personal best of 1:59.77 in Oslo earlier this year was followed by another strong run in Glasgow last Saturday. Her time of 2:00.01 gave her third place, ahead of both Leonard and Sharp as well as Jenny Meadows, arguably her main rival for the final spot on the team.

After such displays, perhaps it is no surprise that the selectors have opted for Judd ahead of the more experienced Meadows, especially with the Olympic Games in Rio on the horizon.

Tough decisions

The other main talking point from the team is the inclusion of James Dasaolu. The sprinter takes the final 100m spot ahead of sub-10 second youngster Chijindu Ujah, who has to settle for a place in the relay squad.

British Athletics performance director Neil Black believes that such difficult decisions prove the strength of the squad.

“The fact that there were so many tough selection choices reflects on the depth and strength we have in some events this summer," he told the British Athletics official website.

“There is an expectation for members of this team to be winning medals or challenging hard at the top end in their finals with youngsters coming through from junior ranks and our experienced medallists performing as strongly as they have in previous years."