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Andy Turner


03 August 2010

The Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team will be returning home to be welcomed as heroes by the British crowd as the most successful team of all time, and next stop is the Aviva London Grand Prix.

So far European Championship British medallists Michael Bingham, Martyn Rooney, Michael Rimmer, Mo Farah, Chris Thompson, Andy Turner, Dai Greene, Rhys Williams, Chris Tomlinson, Phillips Idowu, Marilyn Okoro, Jenny Meadows, and Perri Shakes Drayton will all be competing at the Aviva London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace on the 13 and 14 August.

Following a record 19-medal haul at the at the European Championships, the Aviva GB and NI team will head to Crystal Palace and face several of the rival clashes on the track and field which were witnessed last week in Barcelona, with some having the addition of global threats.

World and European champion Phillips Idowu, who achieved a personal best in Barcelona, will be returning to the triple jump to fight it out against European bronze medallist and World indoor champion, Teddy Tamgho.  The Frenchman has only prevailed once, in the five times the pair have met outdoors, and that came at the IAAF Diamond League meet in New York when Tamgho was two centimetres shy of the 18 metre mark.

The newly crowned double European Champion, Brit Mo Farah, who commanded his field in both the 10,000m and 5,000m events will also be returning home to compete at the Aviva London Grand Prix alongside compatriot and silver medallist in the 10,000m, Chris Thompson.

The pair warmed the hearts of the UK public on the first evening of the European Championships in Barcelona taking two medals, and will be looking to get a similar result against a global field at the Aviva London Grand Prix. The 3000m sees Farah and Thompson line up against the double world champion, American Bernard Lagat, who is sure to put in a competitive performance and is keen to increase on his points score in the Diamond Race as part of the Samsung Diamond League.

In the men’s high jump there will be a re-run of the podium positions from the Europeans, with Britain’s bronze medallist Martyn Bernard looking to better the Russian pair of Aleksander Shustov and Ivan Ukhov who finished first and second respectively.

On the track, the 110 metre hurdles will see the newly crowned European champion, Andy Turner, take on the Diamond Race leader American David Oliver, who has already stated that he is aiming for the world record at Crystal Palace.

Double European medallists, Brits Michael Bingham and Martyn Rooney, who took silver and bronze in the 400 metres, respectively, and silver for the 4 x 400 metre relay team, will once again be taking to the track together to take on former Olympic and world champion Jeremy Wariner, who leads the Diamond Race.

The Welsh duo of Dai Greene and Rhys Williams, who took gold and silver respectively in Barcelona will also be lining up in London alongside former Olympic champion Felix Sanchez, plus the formidable American pair of Kerron Clement and Bershawn Jackson.

Chris Tomlinson took to the podium at the weekend to receive his bronze medal and returns to the UK with his mind firmly set on the Commonwealths as he takes on the world and Olympic silver medallist, South African Godfrey Mokoena, and Australian Fabrice Lapierre, who just missed out on the podium at the World Championships but is looking on form in the lead up to the Aviva London Grand Prix.

The 800 metres bronze medallist from Barcelona, Jenny Meadows, will be joining compatriot Jemma Simpson in the same event at Crystal Palace and are taking on a threatening international field. Meadows will be looking to perform well following injury that, at one point, may have withdrawn her from the European Championships, against Diamond Race leader Alysia Johnson as well as the Olympic and world silver medallist Janeth Jepkosgei.

And it’s not just the British success stories that the London crowd can look forward to, the Aviva London Grand Prix will see an impressive selection of European Championship medallists from outside of the country competing at Crystal Palace, setting up an all star international line up throughout the two day event schedule.

In the women’s javelin the top three medallists from the European Championships will also be competing against each other; German’s Linda Stahl (gold) and Christina Obergfoll (silver) and Czech Barbora Spotakova (bronze) will all be taking to the field for a re-match.

Other European Championships medallists arriving at Crystal Palace for the Aviva London Grand Prix include gold and silver medallists in numerous events;  the high jump, Russia’s Aleksandr Shustov, and Ivan Ukhov, the pole vault’s  French Renaud Lavillenie and the Ukraine’s Maksym Mazuryk, the 400 metres Russians’ Tatyana Firova and Kseniya Ustalova in addition to silver and bronze medallists in the high jump, Croatian Blanka Vlasic and  Swede, Emma Green.

Ian Stewart, the Aviva London Grand Prix Meeting Director and Head of Endurance at UKA, said:

“This week has been sensational for the Aviva GB and NI team, I am so pleased with the level of performances that the team has displayed and it’s just a testament to them as to how hard they are training and working on their disciplines, alongside their support teams.

“It is a meeting director’s dream to have home grown athletes who have been successful compete, and obviously this performance raises the confidence in the team as we head ever closer to London 2012.  It is important to keep our athletes in the public’s mind and the Aviva London Grand Prix offers another opportunity for the sport’s fans to get acquainted with our British athletes. If they could reflect what has happened in Barcelona, at the Olympics in two years time, it would be absolutely awesome and that’s what we’re aiming for!

“We have so many of the medallists from the European Championships coming to the Aviva London Grand Prix in a couple of weeks time, not just the Brits, and it will be brilliant to welcome home the likes of Mo [Farah], Chris [Thompson], Phillips [Idowu] and all the others who have participated and done so well.

“We really are so proud of the team and I’m sure they’re keen to get back to London and compete again in a Diamond League meet, where they can then take on the best in the world.”

Come and watch a pole vault demonstration in the middle of the City of London.  A selection of promising young pole vaulters will be taking to the street in Montgomery Square, Canary Wharf on Friday 6 August at 12.00 to show off their skills, make sure you’re there!

Tickets for the Aviva London Grand Prix at the Crystal Palace on August 13 and 14 are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk