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UK Athletics

Kenney ready to fly the scottish flag in glasgow

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19 January 2011

Middle distance runner Laura Kenney is relying on home support after being announced as one of two Scottish athletes to be competing at the Aviva International Match at Kelvin Hall ISA next Saturday.

Kenney, who is joined by 18-year-old starlet Sarah Kelly as Scotland’s sole representatives, competes in the indoor 3000m for only the second time in her career, her first back in 2006 at Sheffield in the old BUSA competition.

The Royal Sutton Coldfield athlete, who is no stranger to top quality international competition having represented the Aviva GB&NI team on numerous Cross Country campaigns, will face a baptism of fire on the indoor track as she is due to go head-to-head with track veteran Helen Clitheroe, while fellow Scot Kelly has the opportunity to establish herself on the international scene over 1500m.

And 25-year-old Kenney, who will represent the Commonwealth Select team, admits she can’t wait to don the Scottish vest in front of her home fans and insists the Glaswegian public will ensure the event is a passionate and atmospheric occasion.

She said: “I’ve never competed in Kelvin Hall before so it’ll be a new experience for me. I’m running for the Commonwealth Select so I’ll be wearing a Scotland vest, which will be a very proud moment for me.

“I’ve still got a bit of family up there, but I'm not sure if they’ll be able to make the meet. I’ve let them know just in case they can, so who knows. But whether I have family there or not, it’s going to be a fantastic experience.

“I got married just before Christmas and all the males in my family were wearing kilts, so we’re very proud of our background and it’ll be a huge moment to run in front of the Glasgow crowd.

“It’ll be good for Sarah [Kelly] and I to fly the flag for Scotland as the fans are so supportive. I ran in the World Cross in Edinburgh before and it was brilliant to get the home support there, it really spurred me on and definitely keeps you working hard.

“The atmosphere was amazing, people were spread through the whole course and it was really noisy, and I expect something very similar in Glasgow. The Scottish public love their athletics and hopefully I can put in a performance for them.”

The Aviva International Match in Glasgow signals something of a career turnaround for Kenney, who has until now concentrated solidly on outdoor events, having not competed indoors in any discipline since the Birmingham Games in 2009.

And the former European U23 5000m Champion who has an impressive personal best for 3000m outdoors [8:50.37] admits she is using the forthcoming IAAF International Cross Country meet in Antrim on Saturday as preparation for her ultimate goal which is Glasgow.

She added: “I’m really excited about Glasgow as it’s a bit of new challenge for me in a way because I'm not that experienced in doing indoor races. I love running on the track in the summer and as a result I haven’t done that much indoors, so it’ll be a bit of a different outlook for me.

“I'm racing cross country this weekend, which will let me know where I'm at going into the competition. 3000m is my favourite distance and to run it indoors will be great and I'm thoroughly looking forward to it.”

For tickets or more information for the Aviva International Match, on 29 January at the Kelvin Hall ISA in Glasgow, go to uka.org.uk/Aviva-series or phone 08000 556 056