Great Britain

Thames Valley Harriers’ Strickler puts name in Tokyo frame

Amelia Strickler after winning the women's shot put at the SPAR British Indoor Championships

Amelia Strickler after winning the women's shot put at the SPAR British Indoor Championships

PA Wire/PA Images

Thames Valley Harriers Amelia Strickler has her sights firmly set on qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics after her maiden women's shot put title at the Spar British Indoor Championships, writes Ziad Chaudry.

The 26-year-old produced a personal best of 17.97m in the fourth round in Glasgow, which was more than enough to oust defending champion and World Championship finalist Sophie McKinna by a huge margin of 0.58m, as Adele Nicoll took third with 16.19m.

American-born Strickler has recently developed a healthy rivalry with McKinna and Rachel Wallader, who is also expected to be in the hunt for a Tokyo place, for the last couple of years and was delighted to win the title and improve her personal beat indoors by 0.68m.

"Anytime you throw a PB you have to celebrate," Strickler said. "The indoor season is different this year because there's no World Indoors but I wanted to come here and throw an indoor PB but I bettered it with a lifetime PB ,so I can't complain.

"Getting the win as well makes it even sweeter. This last year, we've really been working on my technique and having that change in focus has been a really big boost to me.

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"Not working two jobs any more makes training and recovery better and smoother and I'm so thankful for the support I have and to see the hard work pay off like today is brilliant."

McKinna booked her ticket to Tokyo with a brilliant 18.61m at last year's World Championships in Doha passing the 18.50m standard, but Strickler has never gone beyond 18 metres indoors or outdoors, so every competition she goes in for will be treated as a personal best attempt.

"I have to move closer to the qualifying mark and make it to the Olympics," Strickler added. "I will do everything in my power to get there so fingers crossed that form transitions into outdoors."

Thames Valley's Jason Hoyle clocked 48.73secs in the men's 400m final won by James Williams (47.24), while Chris McAlister ended in the semis.

Nicole Kendall (55.21) and Jessica Tappin (55.94) finished well behind the in-form Jess Knight (52.76) in the women's 400m, while Keane-Elliott Paris-Samuels (60m, 200m) and Nicolas Atwell (400m) were first-round casualties.

Charlotte Buckley clocked a 2.11.61 personal best in the women's 800m final and Lia Stephenson posted a season's best 12.59m in the triple jump.