17 January 2008
Many athletes will use this weekend’s territorial indoor championships to begin in earnest their pursuit of places in the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team at this winter’s IAAF World Indoor Championships to be staged in Valencia, Spain, on 7-9 March.
The reigning European Indoor triple jump champion Phillips Idowu (Belgrave Harriers) plus fit-again World Junior 100m champion Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Sutton and District AC) are among almost 350 seniors heading for the Southern Indoors at the UK Athletics High Performance Centre, Lee Valley, North London. It is such a packed programme that events begin at 10am both days and are scheduled to end at 9pm on Saturday and 6pm on Sunday.
Ryan Scott (Yate and District AC), who reached last winter’s European Indoors 60m final on his GB debut, returns to the National Indoor Centre, Birmingham, for the Midlands Championships on Sunday (events start at 10.30am).
The Northern Championships at the EIS Sheffield on Saturday (starting 11am) and Sunday (noon) feature GB internationals including sprinter Anyika Onuora (Liverpool Harriers) and high jumper Susan Moncrieff (Trafford AC).
And Jessica Ennis (Trafford AC), who led Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland to their first ever European Cup of Combined Events Super League victory last summer, is on double-duty. She will contest the 60m hurdles and high jump, in which she was UK No.1 last year, at the Saucony Loughborough Students AC Indoor Open at the UK Athletics East Midlands High Performance Centre on Saturday – and will then dash home to tackle the long jump and shot on the second day of the Northerns. But she will go back into full training for the Beijing Olympics rather than aim for the World Indoors.