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loughborough action

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Lawrence Okoye in action at Loughborough

20 May 2012

For athleticos coverage of the meet follow this link: http://bit.ly/Jnh5Pv

The performances of Andy Pozzi (coach: Malcolm Arnold) and Lawrence Okoye (John Hillier) at the 2012 McCain Loughborough International underlined the optimism that is currently sweeping British athletics.

The duo demonstrated their undoubted potential at the traditional domestic season opener at Loughborough University in the 110m hurdles and discus respectively.

Just 24 hours after smashing his own GB record with a throw of 68.24m in Germany, Okoye took to the field in the Paula Radcliffe Athletics Stadium to win the competition with 65.20m.

“It was special for me to produce a throw of that calibre,” said Okoye of his new national record.

“I’ve got to keep pushing on, keep throwing far. I backed that up today with a good 65m. I’ve got a week of training next week, no competitions so I will put some more hard work in and hopefully come back strong again in a couple of weeks.

“I believe there’s lots more (distance). I’m still in heavy training at the moment. The Olympics aren’t for 11 weeks so there is a lot more work to do. I’ve got to keep working hard, get my head down and I’m sure that come August I‘ll be able to throw pretty far, close to my best if not better.”

While Okoye was in the circle, Pozzi was up against his training group and 110m hurdles rivals Lawrence Clarke (Malcolm Arnold) and William Sharman (Malcolm Arnold).

And once again he blew away his opponents to win the race in 13.44, with Clarke 2nd in 13.58 and Sharman 5th with 14.04.

“I’m really happy because I’ve missed a couple of weeks training because of exams,” revealed Pozzi.

“I wasn’t quite as confident coming into today as I was at BUCS but I knew I could do it when it mattered. I’m really happy that I got it together for the race.

“I am pleased with the time particularly given the head wind. It just confirmed what I already knew really – I am in good shape and I am capable of running well under the A standard in any conditions.”

Hannah England (Bud Baldaro) began her 2012 season with a run-out in the 800m. A first place finish and a time of 2:02.05 certainly delighted the 2011 World Championship 1500m silver medallist.

“The number one goal today was to win,” acknowledged England.

“I knew the weather wasn’t going to be amazing so I just wanted to try and feel as good as I could and win. It felt like the shortest race ever.

“I am pleased. It was great to go through the routine of warming up and everything like that. I feel a lot more prepared for my 1500m race in Hengelo next week.”

Elsewhere there was wins for Rhys Williams (Dan Pfaff) and Richard Buck (Steve Fudge) in the 400m hurdles and 400m.

“There was a bit of head wind in the home straight so it was tough. I know what shape I am in and I know I can run a lot quicker,” said Williams.

“I was really happy with that,” conceded Buck. “I am looking to build on the indoor season as it was really successful for me. I think everything is there so it was a pretty useful first race so I will be looking to build on that going forward.”

The McCain Loughborough International marked personal bests for Eden Francis (Glenys Morton) in women’s shot – 17.24m which cemented a UKA B standard and Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes) in the long jump – 6.46m.

Click here to view the results in full.

Find out how the GB Juniors fared at the Loughborough International by clicking here.