19 January 2010
THE GOLD AND SILVER long jump medallists from the 2008 World Indoor Championships are set to do battle once again at the Aviva International Match in Glasgow on Saturday 30 January.
British national indoor record holder Chris Tomlinson was pipped for the Gold medal by South Africa’s Godfrey Mokoena two years ago in Valencia, and now with the World Indoor Championships on the horizon once again, the pair are set for an exciting competition at the Kelvin Hall.
Tomlinson competes for the Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland team at the traditional UKA season opener, where five teams from around the world line vie for the Match title
He said: “I’m really looking forward to competing in Glasgow again at the Aviva International Match. It’s fantastic to perform in front of a home crowd, we always get a great reception from the people watching, and it really spurs you on to perform well.
“The event always gets a fantastic mix of athletes, some of the best in the world. It’s good to get the chance to compete against strong competitors to make sure that you are continuing to push yourself in your own discipline.”
The 28-year-old has competed at the Kelvin Hall venue on two previous occasions, and was victorious both times helping the GB team to victory at the International Match in 2008.
But it will be a tough battle against the 24-year-old South African who has won 16 out of the 17 meetings between the pair.
Mokoena, who holds the same indoor personal best as Tomlinson of 8.18m, finished second in Glasgow last year – and wants to improve on that come 30 January.
“I came second last year in Glasgow so I would really like to go one better this time,” said Mokoena. "2009 was a good year but I hope 2010 will be an even better one.
“I’m looking forward to jumping against Chris again. It was tough jumping against each other in Valencia and I’ve no doubt this will be another great battle between us for the Aviva International Match title. Who knows, it could be a good taster of things to come at the World Indoor Championships.”
Mokoena, who competes for the Commonwealth Select team in Glasgow, also won silver at both the Beijing Olympics and last year’s World Championships in Berlin. With the prospect of more global podium finishes to come in 2010, he believes a strong start to the season is vital:
“There are many competitions before the World Indoors in Doha, where I hope to retain my title, but of course it is always great to start the season with a win so I know we will all be looking to do just that at the Kelvin Hall, while also helping out our team."
Jessica Ennis, captain of the Aviva GB and NI team, added: “Chris is a great guy to have on the Aviva GB and NI team as he’s such a tough competitor and can be guaranteed to pull out a result when it’s needed which will hopefully mean more points for us. He won this event two years ago but I’m sure Godfrey will push him all the way.”
Tickets for the Aviva International Match at Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall on Saturday 30th January are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk