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Holmes buoyed by middle distance quality

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Kelly Holmes
Holmes - encouraged by strength in middle distance races




4 July 2008




Kelly Holmes says next week’s Olympic trials in Birmingham will prove that British female middle distance running has never had such strength in depth.


Holmes expects the women’s 800m and 1500m to be among the most competitive at the Aviva National Championships at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium on July 11 to 13.


In the 800m, Marilyn Okoro, Jenny Meadows and Jemma Simpson all have the qualifying standard for Beijing but they will be pushed close by others next weekend including Vicky Griffiths and Amanda Pritchard.


The 1500m is even more competitive with four women: Susan Scott, Steph Twell, Hannah England and Commonwealth champion Lisa Dobriskey having all secured the Olympic guideline time at least once.


Dame Kelly, who is heavily involved in the development of British women's middle distance running through her 'On Camp with Kelly' mentoring initiative supported by Norwich Union, said:


"I think it is superb that there is such competition among the British middle distance girls at the moment - arguably we've never had it so good in terms of real strength in depth.


“Potentially there are five or six girls who would fancy their chances of making the team for Beijing in the 800m and it’s the same in the 1500m, including Hannah England who I've worked with on the ‘On Camp with Kelly’ initiative.


“That can only be a good thing, and given the often unpredictable nature of the middle distance events, any one of these athletes should believe that they can really make a mark in Beijing should they qualify at the Aviva National Championships next weekend.


“I for one will be looking at the results in Birmingham with real interest."



Tickets for the Aviva National Championships at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on 11,12 & 13 July 2008 are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.ukathletics.net