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glasgow girl to launch 2012 with international debut

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Claire Gibson
23 January 2012

Scottish middle distance athlete Claire Gibson will commence her 2012 campaign in style when she makes her Aviva GB & NI Team debut in Glasgow this weekend.

Twenty-nine-year-old Gibson will don the prestigious Aviva GB & NI vest for the first time in her career when she lines up to contest the 800m in front of a sell-out crowd at the Aviva International Match on Saturday 28 January.

Gibson, who has just returned from a winter training spell in the south of Spain, will step out at Kelvin Hall this weekend intent on setting up a successful 2012 campaign.

“I’m really pleased, it’s my first cap in any age group and to be making my debut in front of my home crowd is really exciting and I’m delighted to be part of the event,” Gibson said.

“The Glasgow crowd is always quite a knowledgeable athletics crowd and I think it’s really nice they’ll have a local girl to cheer along at the meet.

“I really want to go out this weekend and do the best I can and put down a marker of what I want to do in the summer season.”

Gibson, who lives and trains in Glasgow, earned a late call-up to the squad after Aviva International Match defending champion Jenny Meadows withdrew from the competition with a minor injury.

She said: “It came as a bit of a shock to be selected to the team. This will be my first indoor meet for a few years so it will be different to normal for me at this time of year but it will be good to find out if I’m where I need to be for the coming months.”

And Gibson has no intention of giving up her new-found place on the Aviva GB & NI Team before the Olympic Games in London this summer.

“I think the Olympics are on everyone’s radar, ask any athlete and they’d be lying if they said they weren’t,” she said.

“The middle distance events in Britain are just so strong at the minute and the reality is that you could run a qualifying time and still not be selected to the team, so not only is the qualifying time important but the Trials are just going to be so critical and there’s going to be so much competition for a place.

“Olympics fever has hit everywhere at the moment, a lot of people haven’t been able to get Olympics tickets and this might be their chance to see the athletes live before they see them on TV at the Olympic Games.

“The athletes will all want to do well in front of their home crowd and get the feeling of winning in front of a home crowd because come July, that’s going to be really important.”

Gibson will be in elite company at Kelvin Hall this weekend, with 5000m World Champion Mo Farah, World Championships 1500m silver medallist Hannah England and World Championships 110m hurdles bronze medallist Andy Turner all set to star in the Aviva GB & NI Team.

The home side will take on teams from the USA, Germany and Russia, as well as a Commonwealth Select representative line-up, when it makes its final appearance on home soil ahead of this summer’s Olympic Games in Glasgow this weekend.

The Aviva International Match will be at Kelvin Hall in Glasgow on 28 January. Tickets are now sold out; for further event information go to uka.org.uk/aviva-series. The Aviva International Match will be shown live on BBC 1 from 1:30pm.