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Hannah England

18 May 2012

Renowned for attracting the country’s top athletes, the 2012 McCain Loughborough International, the traditional domestic season opener, will not disappoint with high calibre athletes such as Hannah England (coach: Bud Baldaro), Lawrence Okoye (John Hillier) and Andy Pozzi (Malcolm Arnold) set to compete in the East Midlands on Sunday 20 May.

2011 World Championship 1500m silver medallist England will open her outdoor season racing in the 800m at the Paula Radcliffe Athletics Stadium, following a busy winter of warm weather and altitude training in the USA and Font Romeu.

The men’s 110m hurdles will see a hot contest between Pozzi and Lawrence Clarke (Malcolm Arnold), both fresh from setting new personal bests and achieving Olympic Games A Standards in the Olympic Stadium two weeks ago.

Following their recent work out at the Olympic Stadium at the London 2012 athletics test event, British discus record holder Okoye will go head to head with Wales’ Brett Morse (Vestienn Haffsteinsson) in the men’s discus as they gear up for the Aviva 2012 Trials to gain selection for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Jade Nicholls (Andrew Neal), who was one of three athletes to win the 2011 McCain UK £5K Golden Challenge, will be aiming for the A standard after achieving two B standard throws in the US in April in the women’s discus and will line-up against the Eden Francis (Glenys Morton)and Kirsty Law (Jim Edwards).

Emma Jackson (Alan Morris) – who opened her 2012 outdoor season with a 1:59.37 PB in the Samsung Diamond League in Doha last weekend, Tom Parsons (Aston Moore), Chris Clarke (Nick Dakin) and Joe Thomas (Arwyn Davies) are some of the athletes set to feature representing Loughborough University, Scotland, England and Wales respectively.

In addition, a 52-strong Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland junior team has been  chosen to compete against the top quality opposition in an important stepping stone on the way to July’s IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona.

Their performances will be an important early indicator of form, with the athletes looking to cement their place in the eyes of the selectors. A full preview can be found here. Late changes include the addition of Hannah Grubb (Tim Snowdon) who has been brought into replace Lucy Bryan in the pole vault, and Aidan Reynolds (David Parker) who comes in for  Huw Bevan in the javelin.

Now in its 54th year, the Loughborough International is traditionally seen as the opening event of the outdoor season and has seen many of the UK’s best athletes’ grace its start lists since the competition began in 1958.

The Loughborough International is one of the first events in the McCain UK Challenge Series, where athletes from across the UK compete to earn points for the title of the McCain UK Challenge Series Champion.

This year the McCain UK Challenge will run as a series instead of having a season finale, but still offers the substantial prize fund of £30,000.

Tickets and information regarding the event can be found here.