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Ten to Watch

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Mark Lewis Francis


12 February 2010

With an intriguiging weekend of action at the Aviva World Trials and UK Championships ahead, we pick out ten to follow from the action at Sheffield.

Richard Buck – 400m

Local man Buck performs better and better each year, and this indoor season should be no exception. Expect the 23-year-old to qualify for the World Indoor Championships without any problems although his history at the EIS is chequered, having won the last two years following disqualification in 2007.

Tom Lancashire – 3000m

The 3000m will be a highly competitive race and Lancashire is taking on this distance at the Aviva World Trials and UK Championships for the first time. He ran a lot of indoor races at college in the US however and should be strong after a winter spent doing cross-country – the Bolton man finished fourth at the Great Edinburgh International last month. 

Mark Lewis-Francis – 60m

The 27-year-old Birchfield Harrier is back healthy and nearing his best shape. A brilliantly talented junior, he finished third at the World Indoors aged 18 in 2001. Injury put paid to his progress in the last couple of years but hopefully 2010 will see a return to form for the Athens Olympic relay gold medalist.

Chris Tomlinson – long jump

Silver medallist at the World Indoors two years ago, the Middlesbrough man has already kicked off 2010 with a win, jumping 7.99m at the Aviva International in Glasgow last month. He’s won this title six times before although he'll have to watch out for British outdoor record holder Greg Rutherford.

Jenny Meadows – 800m

The Wigan Harrier has won at Sheffield four times already, and after a victorious performance in Glasgow at the Aviva International Match two weeks ago she’ll be raring to go. The World Indoors will be a key target, especially after medalling  outdoors in Berlin last year.

Kate Dennison – pole vault

The Sale Harrier lines up in Sheffield aiming for her fifth consecutive national title. Last year she showed terrific form, breaking the British indoor record three times, including at the EIS. And 2010 looks to be no different  - she cleared 4.57m in Germany last month, adding 8cm to her record from 2009 as she cemented her position in the world's top six.

Harry Aikines-Aryeetey – 60m

The London-born sprinter has been in consistent form in the early stages of 2010, running sub 6.70 in his last three races.  His season’s best came at the Birmingham Games with 6.67 and if he can equal his Personal Best, which was set two years ago, then he stands a strong chance of boarding the plane to Doha.

Greg Rutherford – long jump

Following a change of training group and attending the UKA warm-weather training camp in South Africa, the Marshall Milton Keynes athlete is confident he can begin 2010 as he left 2009, which included a new British record at the World Championships.  Only one competition so far has seen Rutherford jump 7.82m in Vienna.

Helen Clitheroe – 1500m

Clitheroe has joined Jenny Meadows’ training group for this season and it would appear the change is already reaping rewards.  The 36-year-old was dominant in her 3000m win at the Aviva International Match in Glasgow and four days later she won the 1500m in Germany.  Current form would therefore suggest she starts as one of the favourites for the 1500m.

Samson Oni – high jump

The Brixton-based athlete has cleared the World Indoor Selection Standard of 2.28m three times already this year.  He didn’t compete indoors at Sheffield last season but in 2008 he won the World Indoor Trials with a Personal Best of 2.30m and also won the national title as a 19-year-old in 2001.

The Aviva World Indoor Trials and UK Championships are sold out, however, you can catch a majority of these British stars at the Aviva Grand Prix  at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham on Saturday 20th February.  Tickets are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk