British Athletics defends decision to select Langford for World Championships

British Athletics has defended its decision to select 800m runner Kyle Langford for the World Championships in Doha following complaints about his conduct.

The 23-year-old was forced to apologise, given a written warning and fined £1,000 after being caught on camera pushing an official at a track meet in Watford in June.

Langford, who finished fourth at the 2017 World Championships in London, has since reportedly attracted a second complaint, allegedly related to a clash with fellow runner James McCarthy during last month’s British Championships.

Despite the controversy, British Athletics performance director Neil Black said Commonwealth silver medallist Langford had earned his place in the 72-strong team announced on Tuesday.

“The discussions in the selection meeting focused purely on performance,” said Black.

“The selectors decided that Kyle’s performances merited selection and we believe he’s going to go forwards to Doha and perform really well.”

He added: “If a complaint has been received, I am sure it will be dealt with in the correct manner.

“But there are clear processes to be followed. The other factors are dealt with by other organisations and other processes.”

Meanwhile, Black has backed Dina Asher-Smith to become the first British athlete to secure a hat-trick of medals in one world championships.

Triple European champion Asher Smith will compete in the 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay at the IAAF’s showpiece event, which starts on September 27 and runs until October 6.

“I think it is possible for her to win medals in all three events,” Black said of Asher-Smith.

“I think that’s probably the expectation that she puts on herself. We all know she’s a very special athlete. And I think she’s got her focus on all three events.

“The 100 is probably the biggest challenge, but it’s not unrealistic to be aiming for all three.”

Asher-Smith will arguably be the headline name on the plane to Qatar in a British squad lacking four-time Olympic gold medallist Mo Farah.

As expected, the 36-year-old Farah opted not to compete in the 10,000m in order to concentrate on defending his Chicago Marathon title.

“Would I have been surprised if he had called me yesterday morning and said I really want to run in the 10,000? I wouldn’t have been,” Black said of Farah.

“But he didn’t. All of the championships are important but without question the most important championship is Tokyo (Olympics in 2020).

“We agreed some time back that Tokyo would be the focus. I can understand that people will look and query that at times. But we’re completely focused on it, he’s completely focused on it, that’s the target and we’re really happy with it.”

Laura Muir has been struggling with injury
Laura Muir has been struggling with injury (Ian Rutherford/PA)

Black also believes Laura Muir can be competitive in the Middle East, despite her recent injury problems.

The Scottish runner tore a calf muscle at the Anniversary Games in July.

“She’s progressing her training well. She’s at the stage of actually starting to run sessions,” Black said of 26-year-old Muir.

“The beauty of Laura and Andy (Young, her coach), they’re brilliant at planning. They’ve got a great working relationship.

“They know from the past exactly what Laura needs to do to get in shape to run medal-winning performances.”

British men’s team: 100m – Ojie Edoburun, Adam Gemili, Zharnel Hughes; 200m – Miguel Francis, Adam Gemili, Zharnel Hughes; 400m – Matthew Hudson-Smith, Rabah Yousif; 800m – Elliot Giles, Kyle Langford, Jamie Webb; 1500m – Neil Gourley, Josh Kerr, Jake Wightman; 5000m – Andrew Butchart, Ben Connor, Marc Scott; 3000m Steeplechase – Zak Seddon; 110m Hurdles – Andrew Pozzi; 400m Hurdles – Chris McAlister; Pole Vault – Harry Coppell; Triple Jump – Ben Williams; Hammer – Nick Miller; Decathlon – Tim Duckworth; Marathon – Callum Hawkins; 20km Race Walk – Tom Bosworth, Callum Wilkinson; 50km Race Walk – Cameron Corbishley; Dominic King; 4x100m Relay – Ojie Edoburun, Miguel Francis, Adam Gemili, Zharnel Hughes, Richard Kilty, Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake, CJ Ujah; 4x400m Relay – Cameron Chalmers, Dwayne Cowan, Toby Harries, Matthew Hudson-Smith, Martyn Rooney, Lee Thompson, Rabah Yousif.

British women’s team: 100m – Dina Asher-Smith, Daryll Neita, Asha Philip; 200m – Dina Asher-Smith, Beth Dobbin, Jodie Williams; 400m – Emily Diamond, Laviai Nielsen; 800m – Alexandra Bell, Shelayna Oskan-Clarke, Lynsey Sharp; 1500m – Sarah McDonald, Laura Muir, Jemma Reekie; 5000m – Jessica Judd, Eilish McColgan, Laura Weightman; 10,000m – Eilish McColgan, Steph Twell; 3000m Steeplechase – Elizabeth Bird, Rosie Clarke, Aimee Pratt; 100m Hurdles – Cindy Ofili; 400m Hurdles – Meghan Beesley, Jessica Turner; High Jump – Morgan Lake; Pole Vault – Holly Bradshaw; Long Jump – Abigail Irozuru; Shara Proctor; Shot Put – Sophie McKinna; Heptathlon – Katarina Johnson-Thompson; Marathon – Tish Jones, Charlotte Purdue; 4x100m Relay – Dina Asher-Smith, Kristal Awuah, Imani-Lara Lansiquot, Daryll Neita, Ashleigh Nelson, Asha Philip; 4x400m Relay – Finette Agyapong, Amy Allcock, Zoey Clark, Emily Diamond, Beth Dobbin, Laviai Nielsen, Jessica Turner, Jodie Williams.

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