04 February 2012
After an exciting weekend of athletics, including a victory for the Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland Team in Glasgow at the Aviva International Match, GB’s world-class athletes and aspiring talent will come together this weekend for their respective cities at the McCain Indoor City Challenge.
Taking place at Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport (EIS) on Saturday 4 February, the first of two meets will see eight cities battle for the coveted McCain City Challenge Trophy and £10,000 prize money.
Fresh from stunning a strong field in Glasgow with an emphatic 800m victory and clocking a new personal best of 1:47.35, Joe Thomas (Coach: Arwyn Davies) will look to continue his form for Cardiff Dragons against Glasgow Cobras’ Guy Learmonth and Ben Wallis (Craig Winrow) of London South Sharks.
Also returning from Glasgow on a high, Margaret Adeoye (Linford Christie) will line up in the women’s 200m field with newfound confidence after laying down an impressive marker with a win and PB of 23.68.
She will compete for a strong London North Lions Team which will see 2009 World Championship finallist Marilyn Okoro (Ayo Falola) launching her 2012 assault in the women’s 800m, while Sarah Claxton (Martey Newman)will come up against World heptathlon silver medallist Jessica Ennis (Antonio Minichiello) in the 60m hurdles.
Ennis, a regular City Challenge entrant for Sheffield Flames, will also contest the women’s long jump as she starts her 2012 Olympic campaign in earnest.
The men’s 60m hurdles looks set to be a highlight of the match with European Junior 110mh champion Jack Meredith (Manchester Warriors) going head to head once more with silver medallist Andi Pozzi (both Malcolm Arnold) of Birmingham Falcons.
After setting big PBs of 7.66 and 7.67 - just short of the UKA World indoor qualifying standard - last the weekend, Pozzi’s form is evident and will also be tested by Chris Baillie (James Hillier) who defends his City Challenge title for Glasgow Cobras.
The Manchester Warriors Team will also see rising heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes) defending her title in the combined events.
Reaching the World indoor qualifying standard at the weekend inHustopeče, Czech Republic with a jump of 2.31m, Commonwealth Games finallist Samson Oni (Trevor Llewelyn) will lead London South Sharks charge in the men’s high jump competition.
Joining Oni is European and Commonwealth medallist Conrad Williams (Linford Christie), who ran a PB of 6.80 in the men’s 60m at Lee Valley last weekend.
Competition Manager Paul Aldridge said, “Athletes ambitions for a monumental year begin at the City Challenge 2012. Once again athletes will join their teams and prepare to fight for the title of McCain City Challenge 2012.
“There will be two matches consisting of eight teams with the most aspirational athletes across the UK competing for individual glory for the greater good of their City.
“The performances between the teams are becoming increasingly smaller so it promises to be a highly competitive series with every team striving to take that title - the teams are set to light up the 2012 Indoor season.”
London North Lions will start as favourites after taking team victories in Sheffield and Cardiff last year, dethroning Sheffield Flames. Competition will start at 12.55pm.
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