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european under-23 championships

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Nathan Woodward

28 June 2011

A 42-strong Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team, led by a quartet of European leaders including the top three on the continent in the men’s 400m Hurdles, will travel to the European Under-23 Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic from 14-17 July 2011.

Nathan Woodward (coach: Nick Dakin), joint leader of the European 400mH rankings with Jack Green (coach: Malcolm Arnold), recorded a new lifetime best and British under-23 record of 49.06 with victory by the closest of margins in Sunday’s Trial at Bedford.

The pair are joined by Niall Flannery (coach: Nick Dakin) - third ranked in Europe - to complete an exceptionally strong trio as they bid to win a fourth successive European Under-23 Championships 400mH gold for the Aviva GB & NI team, following in the footsteps of Rhys Williams (2005), Dai Greene (2007) and Lloyd Gumbs (2009).

In the flat 400m, Trials winner Nigel Levine (coach: Simon Duberley), the 2009 European Under-23 silver medallist, will be targeting his first major title.

The current European leader with a season’s best time of 45.85, Levine has a lifetime best of 45.78 and is backed up in Ostrava by European number two Luke Lennon-Ford (coach: Linford Christie) who clocked a lifetime best of 46.03 in Geneva in May. 

Similarly, Europe’s top two go head to head in the discus. Rankings leader Brett Morse (coach: Nigel Bevan), who recorded a UK national age group record of 64.49m earlier this season, will line up against Trials winner and European number two Lawrence Okoye (coach: John Hillier) as they bid to become Britain’s first ever male medallists in this event at the European Under-23 Championships after Eden Francis won the women’s title in 2009.

In the pole vault, World Junior Championships bronze medallist Holly Bleasdale (coach: Julien Raffalli), who leads the European under-23 and British senior women’s rankings with a lifetime best and UK age group record of 4.53m, is targeting Britain’s first ever European Under-23 Championships pole vault gold, building on the silver medal performance of Luke Cutts two years ago.

The European Under-23 Championships is a valuable opportunity and great career stepping stone for our athletes. We’ve selected a strong, quality team, and we believe that every athlete is capable of achieving a top five performance,” said Aviva GB & NI Team Leader John Herbert.

“We have an excellent record in this Championship and our expectation is that we can continue to deliver podium level performances and match or exceed 2009’s record breaking total of 18 medals where we finished second in the medal table overall.”

AVIVA GB & NI TEAM

MEN

100m: James Alaka (Clarence Callender) - Blackheath & Bromley; Andrew Robertson (John Smith) - Sale Harriers Manchester; 200m: Alaka; Danny Talbot (Dan Cossins) - Birchfield; 400m: Luke Lennon-Ford (Linford Christie) - Birchfield; Nigel Levine (Simon Duberley) - Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow; 800m: Mukhtar Mohammed (Mustafa Mohamed) - Sheffield; 1500m: Dan Clorley (Tony Simmons) - Luton; James Shane (Martin Brown) - Newham & Essex Beagles; 5000m: Adam Bitchell (James Thie) - Cardiff; John McDonnell (John Stoker) - Luton; Ross Millington (Steve Vernon) - Stockport; 110mH: Lawrence Clarke (Malcolm Arnold) - Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow; 400mH: Niall Flannery (Nick Dakin) - Gateshead; Jack Green (Malcolm Arnold) - Kent AC; Nathan Woodward (Nick Dakin) - Tamworth; 4 x 100m: Alaka; Richard Kilty (Linford Christie) - Gateshead; Robertson; Kieran Showler-Davis (John Davis) - Basingstoke & Mid Hants; Talbot; Deji Tobais (Simon Duberley) - Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow; 4 x 400m: Jamie-Kerr Bowie (Piotr Haczek) - Inverness; Harry Doran (Raymond Twentyman) - Liverpool Pembroke Sefton; Lennon-Ford; Levine; Louis Persent (Stephen Garnham) - Colchester; Thomas Phillips - UC Davis; High Jump: David Smith (Ken Allan) - Giffnock North; Discus: Brett Morse (Nigel Bevan) - Birchfield; Lawrence Okoye (John Hillier) - Croydon

WOMEN

200m: Emily Diamond (Jared Deacon) - Bristol & West; 800m: Lynsey Sharp (Dave Sunderland) - Edinburgh AC; 1500m: Stacey Smith (Mick Woods) - Gateshead; 5000m: Emma Pallant (Mick Woods) - Aldershot, Farnham & District; Stevie Stockton (George Gandy) - Vale Royal; Hannah Walker (Bud Baldaro) - Birchfield; 10,000m: Charlotte Purdue (Mick Woods) - AFD; 400mH: Meghan Beesley (Nick Dakin) - Birchfield; 3000mSC: Eilish McColgan (Liz McCoglan) - Dundee Hawkhill Harriers; 4 x 100m: Diamond; Annabelle Lewis (Stephen Wymark) - Kingston Upon Hull; Ashleigh Nelson (Michael Afilaka) - City of Stoke; Elaine O’Neill (Tom Crick) - Woodford Green with Essex Ladies; Asha Philip (Mike McFarlane) - Newham & Essex Beagles; Torema Thompson (Frank Adams) - Enfield & Haringey; Pole Vault: Holly Bleasdale (Julien Raffalli) - Blackburn; Long Jump: Lorraine Ugen (Frank Attoh) - Blackheath & Bromley; Hammer: Sophie Hitchon (Derek Evely) - Blackburn