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stars set for sold out sainsbury's glasgow international match

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Glasgow Press Conference

24 January 2014

44 Olympic, Paralympic and world medallists will line up at a packed Emirates Arena for the sold out Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match tomorrow.

In the unique format, GB & NI will take on USA, a Commonwealth Select team and, for the first time, Scotland will have a team on home soil. Scotland team captain Eilidh Child (coach: Malcolm Arnold), who will compete in the 400m, is excited to take to the track after a successful training camp in South Africa.

The world 4x400m bronze medallist said: “The first race of the year is always a funny one and I like to use it to see where I am because when I opened here last year I ran 52.8 but then ended the season running 51.3, so you can’t really tell too much.

“I’m just expecting to go into the race and be competitive; it’s a really tough field to be in, 400m indoors is different to outdoors because it’s tactical and you’ve got to break so if I’m in amongst it that’s really what I’m hoping for.”

GB & NI will also be strongly represented and William Sharman (Jerzy Maciukiewicz), who finished fifth in the final of the 110m hurdles at the IAAF World Championships in Moscow last summer, is looking forward to leading the team as captain.

Sharman said: “I’m really honoured to be captain and leading the team into the first international event of 2014. I’m excited and looking forward to competing. I want to get a good feel for Glasgow and what the crowd are like here, I’m going to be returning here in the summer for the Commonwealth Games so I’m thrilled to be here.

“I’m looking to make a solid start and then build it up from there towards the World Indoor Championships. So far my winter has gone really well, I’ve been training nicely and it’s looking like it will be a good summer for me.”

Kim Collins will captain the Commonwealth Select Team and returns to Glasgow for the fourth successive year. The 37 year old will line up in the 150m and is in confident mood, he said: “I think I have an excellent chance of winning, I don’t see why not. Training has gone very well and I never fear the competition.”

In another first, Para-athletics events will count towards the overall team score as British Athletics continues to lead the way on integrating Para-athletics with able-bodied events. T44 100m world record holder Richard Browne of the USA is one of the Paralympic stars that will compete at the Emirates Arena.

Browne said: “This year we’re really focused on the 60m, I want to run the 6.75 standard to make the USA indoor nationals, which would be the first time an amputee sprinter has qualified. We’ve been training really hard to achieve that.

“The Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match is a huge meet and an integrated event, which is what we’re really pushing for. To be here is not only good for the meet but for the sport as well, to show people that we’re able to run with the best sprinters in the world.”

Watch the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match live on BBC One and via the BBC website this Saturday from 13:45.