27 June 2008
A bumper weekend of athletics is in store, both in the UK and the rest of Europe with scores of candidates for the GB Olympic Team in action. The Aviva UK Championships & Olympic Trials are now just two weeks away and athletes will be seeking to lay down markers ahead of the crunch weekend in Birmingham.
On Friday night in Lille, France a fascinating men’s 100m awaits, with Brits Marlon Devonish, Tyrone Edgar, Craig Pickering and Simeon Williamson set to go in against former World 4x100m gold medallist Ronald Pognon (France) and former World 100m gold medallist Kim Collins (St Kitts & Nevis).
Also in the starting line-ups are Jeanette Kwayke (100m), Anyika Onuora (200m), Susan Scott and Charlene Thomas (both 1500m), Samson Oni and Martyn Bernard (both High Jump).
In Biberach, Germany on Saturday, Olympic heptathlon bronze medallist Kelly Sotherton competes in the 200m and 100m hurdles before testing her field events at the forthcoming trials. Also in Birberach, GB & NI 4x100m squad members Kadi-Ann Thomas and Laura Turner will compete in the 100m and 200m, also fresh from her PB at last weekend’s European Cup, Jade Johnson goes in the long jump.
As well as Sotherton, it is a crucial weekend for several other combined –eventers, with GB & NI men’s and women’s teams travelling to Jyväskylä, Finland and Hengelo, Netherlands for the European Cup – Combined Events respectively.
Amongst the men’s quartet, Daniel Awde will be looking to build on the form that already saw him secure the Olympic B qualifying standard for the decathlon, whilst Julie Hollman will be targeting the Olympic A standard for the heptathlon.
Closer to home, Birmingham will play host to the UK Athletics Throws and Jumps Fest 2008 on Saturday and Sunday. Much interest will centre on the form of triple jumper Nathan Douglas, who will be looking to recapture the form that has seen him win silver at both the European and European Indoor Championships in recent years.
At nearby Solihull, some fine endurance racing is in prospect at the British Milers Club Grand Prix. On the eve of her departure to the World Junior Championships, Steph Twell will test her legs in the women’s 1500m A race.
Also on the programme, a cracking men’s 3000m steeplechase is in prospect. Stuart Stokes, who holds the Olympic A qualifying standard for the event will be joined by European Cup third-placer Andrew Lemoncello, Adam Bowden, Luke Gunn and Glen Comish in a virtual dress rehearsal for the Olympic Trials two weeks later.
UK Athletics Jumps and Throws Fest:
European Cup – Combined Events: