08 March 2012
The Aviva GB & NI team are making their way to the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul this weekend for the culmination of the indoor season. Here are just a few athletes to watch out for:
After a storming start to 2012, Ennis will be harbouring British hopes in Istanbul. The 26-year-old followed up victories in the high jump and 60m hurdles at the Aviva Indoor UK Trials and Championships with a breathtaking display at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham. Ennis smashed her personal best to claim the 60m hurdles win in a time of 7.87, beating world 100m hurdles world silver medallist Danielle Carruthers in the process.
The Sheffield star heads to Turkey full of confidence, but if she’s to continue her rich vein of form, she will have to see off the challenge from heptathlon World Champion Tatyana Chernova and reigning Olympic Champion Nataliya Dobrynska.
If his start to 2012 is anything to go by, big things are expected of British high jumper Robbie Grabarz. After setting a personal best 2.34m in Germany in January, the 24-year-old continued his fine run of form with a third place finish at the Aviva International Match in Glasgow and second at the Aviva UK Trials & Championships.
However, at the Aviva Grand Prix Grabarz came agonisingly close to breaking the 18-year-old British record of 2.38m. With the best still yet to come, Grabarz is sure to be in with a chance of a podium finish if he replicates the form that has seen him move to fourth in the world rankings for 2012.
Pole vault prodigy Holly Bleasdale arrives in Istanbul after a life-changing three months. The 20-year-old cleared 4.70m at the Aviva Indoor UK Trials & Championships and the Aviva Grand Prix to claim both titles. These two victories came just after Bleasdale shot to number three on the all-time indoor list in the pole vault after clearing 4.87m in Villeurbanne in January.
But this weekend, Bleasdale will face her toughest test to date, as she goes head-to-head with Yelena Isinbayeva, fresh from her 30th world record last month.
Mo Farah is fast-becoming one of the most popular and talked about athletes in world athletics. After picking up two medals at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu, Farah continued his dominance on the indoor circuit winning the 1500m at the Aviva International Match, beating event specialist Augustine Choge. Just three weeks later, Farah broke both the British and European indoor record for 2 miles at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham and now has World Indoor glory firmly in his sights.
With a high class field, Farah will have to be at his best as he goes head-to-head once again with Augustine Choge, Edwin Soi, seasoned veteran Bernard Lagat and training partner Galen Rupp in the 3000m.
Watch all the action unfold on More4 on Saturday from 14.30 and Channel 4 from 11.35 on Sunday.