24 January 2008
United by a common goal of victory, top athletes will compete at two events this weekend.
The Norwich Union International Match in Glasgow on Saturday and the Indoor City Challenge (ICC) semi-final held on Sunday at Manchester’s SportCity, will provide two days of fantastic athletics competition.
British number one long jumper Chris Tomlinson will look to begin his indoor season with a world class performance in Glasgow on Saturday along with team-mate and European under 23 silver medallist Craig Pickering, who stunned Kelvin Hall with an impressive win over Jason Gardener a year ago. Confirmed international athletes Brad Walker in the pole vault (USA), 60m hurdler Susanna Kallur (SWE), and Bernard Lagat (USA) in the 1500m also look set to draw spectators to Kelvin Hall.
Many of last year’s ICC event winners will use the high level of international competition in Glasgow to start their Olympic year preparations. Their absence from the ICC, due to time and geographic limitations, will allow the Indoor City Challenge to give even more top-level club athletes a chance to grab the limelight and step up into podium positions in Manchester.
Among other events, this year’s women’s long jump title is open for contention as 2007 ICC long jump winner Jessica Ennis (Team Sheffield), will be absent at this stage of the competition as she gives Glasgow her full attention and multi-eventer Katia Lannon (Team Manchester), who took second place, will focus on the shot, high jump and relay at this years first ICC semi-final.
Val Rutter, Team Manchester’s manager and Lannon’s personal coach, said: ‘Katia’s really looking forward to the competition even though she is disappointed she can’t defend her Athlete of the Indoor City Challenge title with, which she won a warm weather training package.
'She’s currently training at Brunel during University and is working towards the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi where she hopes to represent Wales in the Heptathlon.’
Team Manchester, Team Sheffield, Team Newcastle, Team Birmingham, Team Glasgow and Team Edinburgh will compete on Sunday for places in the ICC final to take place at the EIS in Sheffield 2 February.
Spectator entry is FREE! For more information visit www.ukathletics.net/competitions/indoor-city-challenge/