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Dutch Trio Boost Super 8 Field

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02 June 2009

Dutch trio Melissa Boekelmann, Robert Jansen and Marcel van der Westen have been added as international athletes for UK city teams taking part in next week’s innovative Super8 competition at the Cardiff International Sports Stadium on Wednesday 10 June.

20-year-old Boekelmann won the women’s shot at the 2009 European Winter Throws Cup and at the 2006 World Junior Championships. She has a personal best of 17.66m, it is yet to be confirmed which team she will represent.

Sprint hurdler van der Westen reached the semi-finals at the Beijing Olympic Games and won silver at the 2007 European Indoor Championships in Birmingham. The 32-year-old has a personal best of 13.35secs and will represent home team Cardiff. 25-year-old Jansen is an improving pole vaulter who raised his personal best to 5.50m this summer.  He will line up for Birmingham.

Meeting Director Shaun Pickering, who has been recruiting athletes for Super8, said: “It was important to introduce international athletes who are closely matched with British athletes already in the line up. This way we can give our athletes an appropriate level of competition and give them the ideal preparation towards this summer’s major championships.

“Looking further ahead, we intend to contract international athletes to a team for the full Super8 series as it develops year on year. The priority will always be our own athletes and providing them with the perfect level of opposition which should ease the problem of British athletes chasing round Europe seeking quality competition.”

The exciting two-hour City versus City concept is being piloted in the Welsh capital next month and several leading British athletes have confirmed their participation.

The host city Cardiff will be hoping to be inspired by a big home crowd as they take on all-star teams from London North, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle, London South, Glasgow and Sheffield at the evening meeting which runs from 7-9pm.

Confirmed names for Super8 already include Olympic 400m hurdles bronze medallist Tasha Danvers, Olympic 200m finalist Christian Malcolm, Olympic long jump finalist Greg Rutherford, World sprint relay bronze medallist Craig Pickering, World indoor long jump silver medallist Chris Tomlinson and UK Indoor 800m champion Jenny Meadows.

Sky Sports have also confirmed they will broadcast the event. More big names will be announced in the coming days. Tickets are now on sale at £5 (seating) or £3 (standing) for adults, U16s are free, provided they are accompanied by a paying adult. Tickets can be purchased at www.uka.org.uk/super8 or by calling the ticket hotline on 0844 844 0808.