28 January 2010
The 2010 athletics season kicks off in style on Saturday with the return of the Aviva International Match to Glasgow’s Kelvin Hall.
Teams from Great Britain & Northern Ireland, the USA, Germany, Sweden and a Commonwealth Select battle it out to pick up the prestigious Match trophy .
Here, Charles van Commenee, UKA’s Head Coach, talks us through his ‘ten to follow’.
America's Olympic 110m hurdles bronze medallist was victorious at the Kelvin Hall in 2008 and is sure to provide stiff competition for the rest of the field. Oliver is one of the world’s best hurdlers and will be out to prove he is the man to beat this year after injury problems last summer ruled him out of the World Championships.
The 24-year-old South African has improved significantly over the last couple of years, and with Olympic and World silver medals to his name he’s a proven competitor at major competitions. As the reigning World Indoor champion he will be hoping for a strong start to the year as he looks to retain that title in Doha in March.
Bronze medallist at the 2007 and 2009 World Championships, Jeter was also impressive indoors last year, winning the 60m at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham. Then in September she looked in spectacular form, becoming the second fastest woman ever over 100m.
Meadows is a regular indoor performer, and makes her 6th appearance in Glasgow. Last year she impressed us all by winning 800m bronze at the World Championships in Berlin, and I’m sure she has more to prove this year, with added confidence to boost her performance that bit more.
Dobriskey won at the Kelvin Hall when she was in Glasgow two years ago so she will want to remain the one to beat this time around as well. This is an important year for the 26-year-old, and she’ll be on the hunt for further glory after last year’s superb 1500m silver medal in Berlin.
As the Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland team captain and competitor in both the high jump and 60m hurdles, Ennis has plenty to think about - but she is more than capable of succeeding in all her responsibilities. She’s had a superb start to the year so far with a number of personal bests, including the 60m hurdles – great preparation for the pentathlon at the World Indoor Championships in March.
Pickering clearly enjoys competing in Glasgow - he has won the 60m here for the last three years and set his personal best of 6.55seconds three years ago at the Kelvin Hall. Now 23-years-old, he picked up European Indoor silver in Birmingham three years ago and will be hoping for that sort of form here this weekend.
The South African middle distance star is the man to beat over 800m in Glasgow. Gold medal winner in Berlin last year, he also performs well indoors, and is a superb championship performer, having won World Indoor gold in 2004 and silver in 2006 and 2008, when he set his personal best of 1.44:91.
Winner at the Kelvin Hall last year, the 27-year-old is also the defending World Indoor champion, and led the global rankings indoors in 2009. The American is sure to be tough to beat, and will be out to start the year with a convincing performance for her team, especially after injury ruled her out of the World Championships last summer.
The American sprinter has a host of major championship medals to his name, including Olympic 200m gold from 2004 and a silver from Beijing two years ago, as well as World Indoor 200m gold from 2001. The 32-year-old lines up over that distance in Glasgow and will be tough opposition for young Briton Leon Baptiste.”
To see these stars in action at the Aviva International Match at the Kelvin Hall on Saturday 30 January, buy tickets on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk