1 March 2012
Samson Oni (Coach: Trevor Llewelyn) joins a strong London South Sharks Team this weekend at the McCain Indoor City Challenge at Lee Valley Athletics Centre, as he puts the finishing touches to his preparation for the World Indoor Championships, which takes place in Istanbul, Turkey 9 – 11 March.
The series features teams from eight cities who compete in two matches, with the team with the highest overall points score after Match 2 being declared the winner. On Saturday 3 March, defending champions London North Lions will be looking to take the win over Match 1 winners Sheffield Flames.
Oni – who holds the indoor challenge record at 2.26 - will take to the men’s high jump after an impressive start to 2012, clocking a new personal best of 2.31m in Hustopeče, Czech Republic in January.
“The McCain Indoor City Challenge falls perfectly time-wise for me in my preparation for the World Indoor Championships.
“It is a crucial competition, my last before Istanbul, where I can iron out some parts I have been working on in training, so it’s more serious than the first match was.
“It is my local area - I sometimes train at Lee Valley - and it will be my first competition since a heavy burst of training following the Aviva Grand Prix, so I am now tapering off.
“I am hoping to make the final in Istanbul and better my 7th place at the World Indoors in 2010.”
Birmingham Falcons’ Luke Lennon-Ford (Linford Christie) also makes final preparations before the World Indoors and will compete in the men’s 400m.
In the women’s high jump, London South Sharks field Isobel Pooley (Fuz Ahmed) who at the last match finished with a new PB of 1.88m and went on to attempt the Olympic B standard of 1.92m.
Joining Pooley in the high jump will be Birmingham Falcons' Commonwealth gold medallist Louise Hazel (Aston Moore), who will also compete in the 60mh.
Also in the Flames’ line up is Louise Bloor (Toni Minichiello) in the women’s 200m and 60m – fresh from setting a new personal best in the 60m final at the Aviva Indoor Trials & UK Championships, plus Jarryd Dunn (Keith Holt) in the men’s 400m, Meghan Beesley (Nick Dakin) in the women’s 400m and Luke Cutts (Trevor Fox) will again feature in the men’s pole vault competition.
Tony Whiteman, who set a national over 40 record of 3:47.20 in the first fixture - close to the world record of 3:44.39 – will also line up in the men’s 1500m for Sheffield Flames.
London North Lions welcome the return of Zane Duquemin (John Hillier) to their team after taking the win in Match 1 and putting in an impressive performance in the shot put at the BUCS Championships at the weekend with a new personal best of 17.61.
Shelayna Oskan-Clarke (Ayo Falola) will also line up for the Lions in the women’s 800m, former Olympic Games finalist Abi Oyepitan (Tony Lester) in the women’s 60m and Ryan Scott (Lloyd Cowan) who took the men’s 60m Match 1 title.
Hot on Scott’s heels, however, will be Daniel Gardiner (Yoni Minichiello) from Sheffield Flames– after taking second place in Sheffield – and will also compete in the men’s long jump.
With the absence of Andy Pozzi for Birmingham Falcons, the men’s 60m hurdles will be an exciting race between Manchester Warriors’ Jack Meredith (Malcolm Arnold), London North Lions’ Richard Alleyne (Martey Newman) and Chris Baillie (James Hillier) from Glasgow Cobras.
12 months ago London North Lions dethroned Sheffield Flames, winning both matches, but with the Flames taking the first victory this year, can the Lions extinguish the flame this Saturday?
A full report following the event will be posted on the UKA website.
For more informationon the event, please click here. Free entry for spectators!