15 May 2008
The Loughborough International this Sunday signals the start of the summer season and will be the first significant competition of the various levels of the athletes in attendance.
Whether competing for home countries, looking for a place at the World Junior Championships, representing their university or opening their UK Challenge account, the event will no doubt drive standards and set a high level of competition for the season.
Loughborough University will field a strong team full of high achievers including Commonwealth 1500m champion Lisa Dobriskey (Ashford AC), World Junior 100m Champion Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies), 2007 National Indoor 1500m champion Chris Warburton (Notts AC) and 2008 World Indoor silver medallist Jeanette Kwakye (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies).
The season opener signals the start of the hugely anticipated and widely celebrated UK Challenge, a season-long competition which provides a focus throughout the summer events for Britain’s top club athletes and aspiring internationals.
With previous individual event winners including Great Britain high jump international Samson Oni, (Belgrave Harriers) top women’s shot put veteran Jo Duncan, (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) and talented triple jumper Nadia Williams (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers), the competition has proven to attract a high standard of athlete, making many of the summer season events driven by UK Challenge aspirations.
Athletes compete within 42 qualifying meetings during the outdoor season, which form the UK Challenge. A minimum of four performances across the series are required by each athlete seeking qualification for the Final. Each performance will be converted into points and ranked. The top eight athletes with the best scores in each discipline will be invited to the UKC Final on the 9 August.