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UK Athletics

Team Sheffield Seize Third ICC Title

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Luke Cutts
Luke Cutts (Team Sheffield)


17 February 2008


Team London North’s quest for the Indoor City Challenge final title was once again quashed by a strong Team Sheffield on home turf at the city's English Institute of Sport.


Team Sheffield built up a strong lead in the second half of the competition, finishing in first place with more than one hundred points between them and their closest rival Team London North, who challenged them throughout match with great team spirit.


The remaining teams finished from third to eight place in the following order;  Birmingham, London South, Edinburgh, Manchester, Cardiff, Bristol.


Outstanding performances came from;


Luke Cutts (Team Sheffield) and Paul Walker (Team Cardiff), who tied in the pole vault with 5.30m, a personal best for both. The pair was also jointly awarded the ‘Male Performance of the Match’ winning an adidas kit package worth £550.


Marilyn Okoro
Marilyn Okoro (Team London North)

Marilyn Okoro, having already secured her place at the World Indoors in Valencia next month, made an appearance to compete for Team London North. She took an early lead in the women’s 800m leaving the rest of the field in her wake as she stormed to victory with a time of 2.01.33m. Her performance earned her the ‘Female Performance of the Match’ prize.


Okoro came to Sheffield to prove a point following disappointment at the Norwich Union Birmingham Grand Prix on Saturday where she finished third behind Great Britain teammates Jenny Meadows (Wigan & District Harriers & AC) and Jemma Simpson (St Mary's University College).


Okoro said: ‘I was so frustrated with my performance yesterday so I wanted to come here and put out a solid performance. It’s much more relaxed. I’m really pleased with my performance.’


Team Birmingham opened their account with a win from Jessica Leach in the high jump. Leach equalled her lifetime best of 1.81m with only Charis O’Connor (London South) left in the field for company. O’Connor failed to match Leach’s strong clearance and bowed out in that round as Leach continued, raising the bar to 1.84m but finding it just out of reach.


'I’m really pleased,' Leach exclaimed. 'I know I’ve got 1.84m in me, this is the best I’ve felt this season. Ill be focussing on jumping 1.81m consistently in training now and working on my new run up which I'm still developing.”


Ed Dunford (Team Birmingham) was crowned male 'Athlete of the Match', for his efforts in the men's triathlon, winning a Warm Weather Training Package, courtesy of WGT Sports. His brilliant 60m hurdles time of 7.84secs pushed winner Richard Alleyne (Team London North) to within a hundredth of a second.


Team London South produced some brilliant performances, namely from Montell Douglas and Scott Rider.


Rider, who had an impressive semi-final in Cardiff, was heavily challenged by Kieren Kelly (Team Bristol) throughout the shot put competition. However, in the sixth and final round Scott produced a throw of 18.41m, leaving his strongest competitor Kelly for dust with his effort of 17.86m.


Scott Rider
Scott Rider (Team London South)

Douglas who missed out on the Norwich Union World Trials and UK Championships due to illness, came back to competition on top form and triumphed for Team London South in the 60m. Following a disappointing couple of months, the sprinter said she was ‘gutted’ to have been left out of the World Indoors Great Britain squad.


'I came to Sheffield to prove a point. I’m in great shape and really wanted to blow people away.” And blow away the crowd at the EIS she did, with an impressive run of 7.34secs.'



Gillian Cooke
Gillian Cooke

Gillian Cooke (Team Edinburgh) received the female 'Athlete of the Match’ for her top class effort in the women's long jump with 6.24m.


Cooke, who reached the UK target in the Power of Ten rankings with the jump said: "I'm really pleased with the win, although the distance wasn't so great because I've had a slight niggle in my ankle. I've finished my indoor season now and will be working on my speed and strength in training ahead of the outdoor season.”




Full results to follow at www.ukathletics.net/competitions/indoor-city-challenge/results