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UK Athletics

Clitheroe targets Olympic and World qualifying time

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Helen Clitheroe

02 June 2011

European Indoor champion Helen Clitheroe (coach: John Nuttall), in her international track debut over the distance, will target the Olympic and World qualifying time of 31:45 in Saturday’s European Cup 10,000m at the Bislett Stadium in Oslo.

Following the withdrawal of Charlotte Purdue (coach: Mick Woods) and John Beattie (coach: John Nuttall) due to injury, Clitheroe is the sole Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland representative in the event, and while her road best of 31:45 - recorded with victory in the Bupa Great Manchester 10k on 15 May - is not directly comparable, it’s an indication of her current form.

Obviously my confidence has been boosted from winning the European Indoor 3000m title in Paris and the Manchester 10k,” she said. “I’m hopefully going to be competitive in Oslo and race for a good finish position, but my main target is to run under the Olympic Games and World Championships qualifying time.

“Having run 31:45 on the road I’m feeling more confident that I can get close to the time, but I know that it can be a lot harder mentally on the track and I can't forget that this is my debut, so I’m not putting too much pressure on myself.”

Only two British athletes have ever won the European Cup 10,000m title. Paula Radcliffe was crowned champion twice, in 1999 and 2001, and Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) dominated the event 12 months ago, clocking 27:28:86 to post the fastest time by a European runner over the distance for nearly two years and the third fastest ever by a British runner, at the time.

Clitheroe goes in the women’s A race which starts at 18.15 Oslo time (GMT +1).

A report will be posted on the UKA website as soon as possible post-event.

For more information on the event go to: http://ec10000m2011.no/