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44 GLOBAL MEDALLISTS TO STAR IN GLASGOW

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Bernard Lagat

21 January 2014

A total of 25 world medallists and 19 Paralympic and Olympic medallists will star at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match on Saturday 25 January.

World-class athletics returns to the Emirates Arena for the second successive year and will welcome a Scottish team for the first time in the event’s 26 year history as they go head-to-head with GB & NI, USA and a Commonwealth Select team.

World 4x400m bronze medallist Eilidh Child (coach: Malcolm Arnold), who will captain the Scotland team, said: “I’m really honoured to be named captain and it’ll be an immensely proud occasion for me to lead the Scottish team out at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match. There is some really good talent coming through, so it is great for everyone to have the opportunity to compete at the Emirates Arena before the Commonwealth Games. It will also give fans the chance to come out and watch some of the athletes they might not

The 26 year old will be joined by European U23 bronze medallists Laura Muir (Andy Young) and Allan Smith (Fuzz Ahmed) and world 1500m finalist Chris O’Hare (Steve Gulley), while London 2012 Paralympic silver medallists Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) and Stef Reid (Rana Reider) will look to secure maximum points for Scotland.   

World 110m hurdles finalist William Sharman (Jerzy Maciukiewicz) will lead the GB & NI team, which includes Olympic high jump bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz (Ahmed), world 100m hurdles bronze medallist Tiffany Porter (Reider) and World Indoor bronze medallists Holly Bleasdale (Scott Simpson) and Shara Proctor (Reider). British hopes will also be on GB & NI debutant Michael Poulton and world bronze medallists Sophie Kamlish (Rob Ellchuk) and Erin McBride (Robert Roberts), who line up in the T44 60m, T44 long jump and  T11-13 60m respectively.

On being named captain, Sharman said: “It’s a real privilege to have been asked by Neil Black to captain the team at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match at the end of the month. Not many athletes get the opportunity to lead a team at a major event, so I’m really looking forward to making my mark on and off the track in Glasgow.”

12-time global medallist Bernard Lagat will look to roll back the years for the USA, as the 39 year old takes on a competitive field in the 3000m, which includes GB & NI’s European Cross Country bronze medallist Andy Vernon (Nic Bideau).

Looking to draw from Lagat’s experience as captain will be world 4x100m gold medallist Mike Rodgers, 2005 400m hurdles world champion Bershawn Jackson, Paralympic T44 100m silver medallist Richard Browne, Olympic high jump silver medallist Erik Kynard, Olympic 4x400m gold medallist Francena McCorory and Natasha Hastings, who has won a total of five global 4x400m gold medals.

Lagat said: “It’s a great opportunity to lead my country out at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match. There are some world-class athletes coming to the meet, but I have no doubt that the USA are up to the test and can come out on top. There are some less familiar names within the team, but I’m sure having such a stage to perform on, will spur them on when they reach the startline or runway.  

“I always get a great reception in the UK and I’m really looking forward to returning this weekend. An early season race is always good to see where you are against your competition and I will be using the race to test myself in the lead up to the World Indoors in March where I hope to retain my title at 3000m.”

Kim Collins, who last year set a 100m personal best of 9.97 at the age of 37, will look to repeat last year’s form as the fans’ favourite lines up in the 150m for the Commonwealth Select team. Joining the St Kitts and Nevis sprinter will be eight-time global medallist Chris Brown, who will run in the 400m as well as the 4x400m, where he will be joined by his fellow Olympic relay gold medallists Demetrius Pinder, Michael Mathieu and Ramon Miller. European Junior 4x100m gold and 200m silver medallist Desiree Henry will also face a strong challenge as the 18 year old goes up against Annabelle Lewis (Reider) and Natasha Hastings.

Collins said: “Not many athletes break PBs at 37 let alone reach 37 and still be competing at the top, so 2014 for me will be all about showing the world that age is no barrier starting with the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match.

“Glasgow always brings out the best crowds and I can’t wait to step foot on that track and get that warm reception I’m so accustomed to. This will almost be my version of the Commonwealth Games, so I will be looking to take in all the atmosphere on the day and show that Kim Collins can never be written off.”

Olympic champion Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) has been forced to withdraw from the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match due to a minor injury sustained during training.

Rutherford said: “Unfortunately I have to withdraw from the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match. It's nothing ba d and it has been a tough call to make, but I know it's the right decision in order not to risk a serious injury. I'd like to apologise to all my fans and people who were looking forward to see me this weekend, but I'm sure it'll be an exciting and special event regardless. I wish all my British team mates and competitors good luck.

“My appearance in the long jump at the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix next month won't be in danger. Even if I can't make it to Glasgow this indoor season, I'll be back this summer and will fight for the long jump title at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.”

For full startlists, go to http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/british-athletics-series/sainsburys-glasgow-international-match/glasgow-event-schedule/

Tickets for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match are on sale at britishathletics.org.uk  

The Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match will be live on BBC One from 13:45-16:30.