|Date: 4-5 September Venue: Manchester Regional Arena|
|Coverage: Live on BBC Two (Friday) and BBC One (Saturday). Live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.|
Jake Wightman has defended the big-name absentees from this weekend’s British Championships, denying that they are chasing money by competing elsewhere.
Mo Farah and heptathlon world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson are in action in Brussels on Friday.
Scottish training partners and middle-distance rivals Laura Muir and Jemma Reekie ran in Marseille on Thursday.
“There is not as much money available to compete so I would definitely say it is not about that,” Wightman, 26, said.
He told BBC Sport: “Everyone has got their own plans and there have been so few races this year. If you have committed to one and you want to try and run a fast time then that is what you have to do.
“I can’t say I am surprised or knock it because it is for you to decide what fits best for this year and going into next year.”
The British Championships in Manchester have been rescheduled twice because of the coronavirus pandemic, settling on Friday and Saturday only in late June.
It is on the same weekend as an event in Poland which signed Muir as one of its star names.
With events staged in front only a fraction of the usual fans, if any, and the increased costs of testing and protecting athletes, event organisers have less prize money to offer.
The organiser of last month’s Diamond League event in Monaco claimed his budget was almost halved.
Elliot Giles, Kyle Langford and Guy Learmonth preferred to run in Marseille rather than in the 800m race that Wightman will compete in in Manchester.
“For me, I always wanted to do a British Championships and championship racing, which is good practice for next year’s trials and the Olympics when you have to go through the rounds,” said Wightman.
“There was never a question whether I would be here or not.”
‘No-one is superhuman’
Wightman ran the second-fastest 1500m by a Briton in Monaco last month – three minutes 29.47 seconds – behind only Farah in the all-time list.
“I would rather be 20th on an all-time list and have an Olympic medal, but it gives me confidence to know that I can compete in the championship races when it matters,” Wightman said.
“Consistency is key more than anything. You don’t get better from one good year of training. You get better from lots of years back to back.
“A lot of it when you compete at that level is mental. It is knowing I can compete with these guys, and the next step is finishing ahead of them.
“No-one is superhuman and you have to believe that you are the one that can cause them to lose.”