12 June 2009
Olympic gold and silver medallists Christine Ohuruogu (Newham & Essex) and Phillips Idowu (Belgrave Harriers) have been named in the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland Team for next weekend’s inaugural European Team Championships in Leiria, Portugal.
GB & NI won the men’s competition in Annecy, France last year in the event’s final year as the European Cup, whist the GB & NI women placed third. This year, the men’s and women’s teams will be united, 12 rather than 8 countries will take part, there will be less attempts for field athletes and a “devil-take-the-hindmost” format for long-distance races.
There are several athletes named in the team who have made breakthrough performances already this summer, including Ashlee Nelson (City of Stoke) – women’s 100m, Eilidh Child (Pitreavie AAC) – women’s 400m hurdles, David Greene (Swansea Harriers) – men’s 400m hurdles, Rikki Fifton (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets) – men’s 200m, Kate Dennison (Sale Harriers) - women’s pole vault, Hannah England (Oxford City) – women’s 1500m and Stephanie Twell (Aldershot, Farnham & District) – women’s 3000m.
Charles van Commenee, UKA Head Coach said: “Under the former format, this was an event that the British team have traditionally done very well at. It is the only team competition at this level of the sport and is one that people can really relate to.
“It is a new format this year and it will take time for people to get used to it and to understand it. But people always understand winning and losing and we must aim to succeed. We have some very strong events, some weaker ones and everything in between. But that applies to every country. It should be a very interesting weekend.
“We have selected every athlete purely on a performance basis and not on promise or potential. It is all about who are the best people for the job. We have selected the strongest possible team from athletes who are fit.
“The exceptions are heptathlete Jessica Ennis and 400m runner Michael Bingham. The timetable for the European Team Championships means that Jessica would only have been able to compete in one event and it is better for her to compete in the UK that weekend where she can compete in four events as part of her preparation for the World Championships.
“Michael Bingham tops the men’s 400m rankings this year, but he will be coming off the back of a very busy schedule at the NCAA Championships in the USA, so it would be too much to expect him to be able to be at his best a few days later following a 12 hour journey.”
View Charles van Commenee European Team Championships video interview.
AVIVA GREAT BRITAIN AND NORTHERN IRELAND TEAM
100m: Dwain Chambers (Belgrave Harriers); 200m: Rikki Fifton (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets); 400m: Tim Benjamin (Cardiff AAC); 800m: Colin McCourt (Dundee Hawkhill); 1500m: Tom Lancashire (Bolton Harriers); 3000m: Nick McCormick (Morpeth Harriers); 5000m: Mo Farah (Newham & Essex); 110m hurdles: Andy Turner (Sale Harriers); 400m hurdles; David Greene (Swansea Harriers); 3000m steeplechase: Stuart Stokes (Sale Harriers); High Jump: Samson Oni (Belgrave Harriers); Pole Vault: Steve Lewis (Newham & Essex); Long Jump: Chris Tomlinson (Newham & Essex); Triple Jump: Phillips Idowu (Belgrave Harriers); Shot: Carl Myerscough (Blackpool, Wyre & Fylde); Discus: Abdul Buhari (Newham & Essex); Hammer: Andy Frost (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) Javelin: Mervyn Luckwell (Marshall Milton Keynes) 4x100m: Harry Aikines-Aryeety (Sutton & District);James Dasaolu (Croydon Harriers); Marlon Devonish (Coventry Godiva); Tyrone Edgar (Newham & Essex); Fifton; Simeon Williamson (Highgate Harriers); 4x400m: Benjamin; Greene;Nigel Levine (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow); Richard Strachan (Trafford AC); Rob Tobin (Basingstoke & Mid Hants); Conrad Williams (Kent AC)
100m: Ashlee Nelson (City of Stoke); 200m: Christine Ohuruogu (Newham & Essex); 400m: Lee McConnell (Shaftesbury Barnet); 800m: Jenny Meadows (Wigan & District); 1500m: Hannah England (Oxford City); 3000m: Steph Twell (Aldershot, Farnham & District); 5000m: Laura Kenney (Royal Sutton Coldfield); 100m hurdles: Gemma Bennett (Shaftesbury Barnet); 400m hurdles: Eilidh Child (Pitreavie AAC); 3000m steeplechase: Helen Clitheroe(Preston Harriers); High Jump: Stephanie Pywell (Sale Harriers); Pole Vault: Kate Dennison (Sale Harriers); Long Jump: Phyllis Agbo (Thames Valley); Triple Jump: Nadia Williams (Shaftesbury Barnet); Shot: Alison Rodger (Sale Harriers); Discus: Eden Francis (Birchfield Harriers) Hammer: Zoe Derham (Birchfield Harriers); Javelin: Laura Whittingham (Sale Harriers); 4x100m: Montell Douglas (Blackheath & Bromley); Emily Freeman (Wakefield Harriers); Joice Maduaka (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies); Nelson; Kadi-Ann Thomas; Laura Turner; 4x400m: Vicki Barr (Rugby & Northampton); McConnell; Ohuruogu; Nicola Sanders (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow)