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UK Athletics

Norwich Union GB at European 10,000m – preview

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Jo Pavey
Jo Pavey - new distance

The Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland team of four all face different targets at the European 10,000m Challenge in Ferrara, Italy, on Saturday 7 April.


Jo Pavey (Exeter Harriers), over the flu that devastated her medal hopes at last month’s European Indoor Championships and forced her withdrawal from the team for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships, will make a cautious start to her attempt to beat the qualifying standard of 31 minutes 40 seconds for this summer's World Championships in Osaka, Japan. She explained that she has prepared well for what I have to do but, not having run the distance on the track before, there is still plenty to learn. So her plan is to go off at a sensible pace in the first half of the race and then when I see how she feels.


Hayley Yelling (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow AC), who finished just ahead of Pavey at this winter’s European Cross Country Championships and was an outstanding 16th at the World Cross Country Championships in the hostile temperature of Mombasa, Kenya, has had her hopes of chasing the Worlds qualifier seriously threatened by illness. The maths teacher explained: “I came down with a cold on Monday and am still full of it. I will decide tomorrow morning if I race. I’m quite upset about it; things never seem to go right for me on the track.”


Kate Reed (Bristol and West AC) is targeting the standard of 32:20 required for July's World University Games in Bangkok, Thailand. And she is treating as a positive the fact that she collapsed in the extreme weather conditions well before the finish of the 8km in Mombasa. She said: “I’d trained better than ever before at the UK Athletics preparation camp in Durban. The way I see it, this is my chance to use all that fitness.”


Last year’s winner, Elvan Abeylegesse (Turkey), who also dropped out of the World Cross race, is in the field and has announced she is chasing a fast time.


Mike Skinner (Blackheath Harriers and Bromley AC), who benefited from the Durban training camp to such an extent that he was Norwich Union GB’s second scorer in the men’s 12km race in Mombasa, is feeling good at the prospect of his track debut over this distance. The entry for the men’s race includes the host country’s European Indoor 3000m champion Cosimo Caliandro and a strong contingent from Spain including Jose Rios, who has shown fine marathon form of late.


More about this event can be found at http://www.european-athletics.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=4670&Itemid=204