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all eyes on oslo

Gemili Kilty Lewis
10 June 2014


Nestled amongst Norway’s many Fjords, Oslo plays host to the ExxonMobil Bislett Games, the next Diamond League meeting of the 2014 season, which takes place tomorrow evening. Rome’s Golden Gala meeting last Thursday saw Adam Gemili (coach: Steve Fudge) and Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold) lead the British performances with third place finishes and will both be in action once again tomorrow.

Oslo also marks the second of three IAAF Diamond League meetings within nine days, with a number of British athletes also travelling to the New York Diamond League on Saturday.

For Gemili, who was third in Rome with a 10.07 clocking, this is another golden opportunity to attack the much talked about ten second barrier as he goes in the men’s 100m alongside IAAF World Indoor 60m Champion Richard Kilty (Rana Reider) and their GB & NI teammate Danny Talbot (Dan Cossins). Whilst Gemili insists he is concentrating on winning races and that the times will follow, he was certainly buoyed by Chijindu Ujah’s (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) sub-ten second clocking in Hengelo on Sunday night.

 “It was crazy! For me it wasn’t really a shock as I knew he was that talented. But maybe to do that in June did surprise a lot of people, but he was definitely going to do it eventually. Just because CJ’s done it doesn’t mean I feel any extra pressure to do it. It’d be lovely to do it, and I believe it’s within my ability to do it and I’m confident that in my career I will do that, it’s just when it happens.

“I’m not rushing it; I just need to execute a good race. Last week in Rome the execution wasn’t brilliant but I still ran reasonably quick so it’s just getting that execution right and it will happen. “

Just before the men’s 100m brings the curtains down on tomorrow night’s meeting, some of the best milers in the world will line up in the prestigious ExxonMobil Dream Mile. In amongst the Olympic and world medallists will be Chris O’Hare (Terrance Mahon) who burst onto the world scene last year when he made the IAAF World Championship 1500m final in Moscow. On the history of that race, O’Hare commented:

“I know that Cram, Ovett and Coe have all won it. I’ll go out there and try and win, but winning will be some feat! Maybe in a few years when I’m in the prime of my career I’d like to join that list. For me tomorrow it’s not smart to be putting times or scalps on a list that I’m trying to achieve. I just need to go out there and run the best race that I can.”

After a third place finish in Rome last week, Eilidh Child will look to further revise the 54.82 season’s best she ran at the Stadio Olimpico. Named in the GB & NI team for the European Team Championships in Germany on 21-22 June earlier today, as well being on the startlist for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix on the 11-12 July, she has a busy summer ahead. Emily Diamond (Cossins) goes in the flat 400m, a late addition to a top drawer line-up.

Also lining up in hurdles races are William Sharman (Jerzy Maciukiewicz) and Rhys Williams (Adrian Thomas). Sharman has already come within two hundredths of his 13.26 personal best his year, and after a 13.32 victory in Hengelo on Sunday comes in full of confidence. Williams on the other hand has raced sparingly so far this year and so will be looking to go inside the 50 second barrier for the first time in 2014.

Power of ten topping namesake Jodie Williams (Christine Bowmaker) has been in fantastic shape so far this year, and she lines up in the women’s 200m having already set a new personal best over the distance thanks to a 22.76 clocking in April. Meanwhile her training partner Asha Phillip (Bowmaker) goes in the 100m having also set a personal best this year of 11.19. British female sprinting is certainly on the up and the duo will look to further prove that tomorrow evening.

In the field, Phillips Idowu (Gary Bourne) and Shara Proctor (Reider) lead the British entries. Idowu, back in action after sitting out the majority of 2013 jumped a promising 16.99 in Australia ten days ago and will look to further accelerate his comeback in front of the knowledgeable Norwegian crowd. By her extremely high standards, Proctor has had a rather modest start to the season with 6.60m her longest jump of the year; she continues the defence of her Diamond Race title in Oslo.

Also in action in the field is pole vaulter Luke Cutts (Trevor Fox) who smashed his lifetime best with a 5.83m vault during the indoor season. With an outdoor best of just 5.20m so far this summer he’ll be looking to go higher.

Further British interest comes in the men’s middle distance events, with both Mukhtar Mohammed (Jon Bigg) and Guy Learmonth (George Gandy) in the national 800m, with Olympian Ross Murray (Craig Winrow) and Tom Farrell (Dave Smith) lining up in the national 1500m. GB & NI junior Amy Griffiths (Mick Woods), who has already secured the 4.18 qualifying standard for the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene this summer, will look to revise her personal best further in the women’s national 1500m.

In the Diamond Race 800m, Jess Judd (Rob Denmark) joins a plethora of sub two minute runners as she looks to lower her 2.02 season’s best ahead of a three way battle with fellow Brits Laura Muir (Andy Young) and Lynsey Sharp (Reider) at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow Grand Prix. That event will be the first ever Diamond League meeting in Scotland and tickets are available here: http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/british-athletics-series/sainsburys-glasgow-grand-prix/

You can follow all the action from the Oslo Diamond League by heading to the @BritAthletics Twitter page or British Athletics TV, where there’ll be interviews with the leading British athletes.

To watch the action live on the BBC, tune in to BBC Three from 19:00 – 21:00 hours tomorrow evening (Wednesday 11 June).