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Loughborough International

16 May 2013

The Loughborough International, which acts as the domestic athletics season’s traditional curtain raiser, takes places on Sunday 19 May as teams from England, Wales, Scotland, GB & NI Juniors, British Universities and Loughborough University go head to head.

Two 400m specialists will do battle over 200m as European Indoor 400m silver medallist Nigel Levine (Linford Christie) takes on Loughborough’s former European bronze medallist Martyn Rooney (Rana Reider), who will look to improve on his personal best of 21.33 set at this fixture six years ago.

It will be a busy day for Rooney, who will also compete over his favoured 400m distance and as part of Loughborough University’s 4x400m relay team. Also lining up for Loughborough is former Commonwealth 1500m champion Lisa Dobriskey (Ricky Soos) will move up in distance to compete over 3,000m.

Jessica Judd (Rob Denmark) ran a world leading 2:00.37 at Watford on Wednesday and the 18 year old World Junior Championship silver medallist will represent GB & NI juniors as she attacks the 11 year old British junior record of 1:59.75 on Sunday. Another World Junior medallist, Jazmin Sawyers (Toni Minichiello), will compete for GB & NI juniors in the long jump.

In the women’s high jump, heptathlon Olympian and World Junior long jump champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes) will compete for England against a field including 16 year old Morgan Lake (Eldon Lake) and Scotland’s Emma Nuttall, who currently sits top of the UK rankings following her clearance of 1.85m indoors.

A strong England team contains no less than six London 2012 Olympians, including European Indoor 400m champion Perri Shakes-Drayton (Chris Zah), who will run over 400m again on Sunday rather than her more familiar 400m hurdles.

Olympic semi-finalist Jack Green (Malcolm Arnold) will line up in the 400m hurdles, whilst Danny Talbot (Daniel Cossins) will run in the 100m and Sophie Hitchon (Tore Gustafsson) will compete in the hammer.

The Scotland team will be led by double European Indoor medallist Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold). The 26 year old won silver in the 400m and gold as part of GB & NI’s 4x400m team, but will return to her more familiar 400m hurdles this weekend for her first individual outing over the distance in 2013.

GB & NI’s top ranked hammer thrower Mark Dry (Tore Gustafsson) will also represent Scotland at Loughborough. Dry threw 74.46m in California last month to go four metres clear at the top of the McCain Power of 10 rankings.

Wales’ best hope is likely to come in the men’s discus as Brett Morse (Andy Brittan), who threw a Commonwealth Games qualifying standard of 64.97m last weekend to go six metres clear of his nearest rival in the McCain Power of 10 rankings. Sally Peake (Scott Simpson), who opened her 2013 outdoor season with a win at BUCS, will also stand a good chance of securing maximum points for Wales in the pole vault.

Craig Pickering (Michael Khmel) will compete for the first time since September 2011 as he lines up in the guest 100m.

Tickets are still available on the Loughborough Sport website.