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Mottram and McConnell launch 2007 Bank of Scotland Celtic Cup

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The Bank of Scotland Celtic Cup launched for 2007 with Australia's greatest ever 5000m runner Craig Mottram, and Scotland's Commonwealth Games 400m hurdles bronze medallist Lee McConnell, at the Falkirk Wheel today, Friday June 29th.


The event, which will have a total prize purse of $24,000, will take place on Tuesday July 31st at Grangemouth Stadium.


Mottram, Commonwealth 5000m silver medallist and World Cup winner over 3000m will compete in the Bank of Scotland Dream Mile as part of the finishing touches to his World Championships preparation. "You can expect sub-4 minutes", he said.


"Scotland is a fantastic place to compete, and having raced up here, I know how much the Scots get behind their athletes. I was really disappointed to miss the winter cross country race in January, so hopefully this will give me the opportunity to get the Scottish support behind me. I might need it for next year's World Cross Country Championships in Edinburgh."


McConnell, who captained the Scottish team to victory in the 2006 event is delighted to see the competition return for 2007.


"It's a great event and an amazing opportunity for Scottish athletes to wear the Scottish vest with pride, in Scotland and live on Sky TV," she said.


"If we get a good day, it'll give me a great opportunity to have a go at the Scottish 200m record."


"We had a strong team last year and managed to hold off Wales and Ireland for the inaugural title. I'm sure all the Scottish team athletes will agree that we want to retain the Bank of Scotland Celtic Cup this year - and in the future. It's never been outside Scotland yet. Let's keep it that way."


Karen Tighe, Group Sponsorship, Bank of Scotland, said:

"We're delighted to be title sponsors of the Bank of Scotland Celtic Cup 2007.


"We recently announced the renewal of our long-standing sponsorship agreement with scottishathletics worth more than £400,000 over the next three years and the Bank of Scotland Celtic Cup encapsulates the essence of that agreement.


"The event showcases Scottish talent from regional squad development level right through to elite performance and demonstrates the pathways scottishathletics have put in place to ensure that our athletes can fulfil their potential.


"The new Bank of Scotland National Squad was launched in late May with the support of World and Olympic 400m champion, USA star Jeremy Wariner. His appearance, which has been preceded by other top names such as Merlene Ottey, Haile Gebrselassie and Darren Campbell, underlines the standard we are aiming for in Scotland. We want our athletes to be among the best and competing in a Scottish vest on home turf will not only be a huge honour for our current athletes, but also a fantastic opportunity to inspire future generations of talented young athletes."