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Meadows 800m Boost

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Jenny Meadows
Meadows - aiming for trials boost to season


05 June 2009

UK INDOOR 800m champion Jenny Meadows hopes to clinch the national double with victory at the Aviva World Trials & UK Championships in Birmingham next month.

The 28-year-old has shown terrific form already this season, with an impressive win over Olympic champion Pamela Jelimo in Morocco last month – the first defeat over 800m for the Kenyan star.

Meadows, who reached the semi-finals at the Olympics in Beijing last year, is determined to shine on the world stage this summer – and a win at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium is a vital part of her plan.

Last year the Wigan Harrier was unable to compete at the Midlands venue due to illness, so the chance to secure a place on the Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland team for the World Championships in August – as well as the glory of a national title, is high on her agenda.

Meadows said: “I’ve had a really great start to the season, winning my opening race in Morocco a couple of weeks ago, and beating the likes of Pamela has given me a real boost of confidence going into the summer. A win like that is really important to set me up for the outdoor season and I know there’s a lot more to come – I’m capable of running faster for starters.”

Meadows followed up that win with another impressive run in Hengelo, Holland, this week – finishing third ahead of fellow Briton Marilyn Okoro. That victory over her compatriot no doubt provided a real boost as the pair battle it out for a place on the GB & NI Team set to compete in the European Team Championships later this month – an event Meadows won last year. But of course glory on the world stage remains a key target:

“The experience I had at the Olympics last year has given me even more of a hunger to go out and prove my place in the GB & NI Team for the World Championships in Berlin. I really want to get out to Berlin and get to the final. I’ve won the indoor national title over 800m this year so it would be great to get the double, especially as I wasn’t able to compete in Birmingham last year,” she said.

British women’s middle distance has provided plenty of stiff competition over recent years, and 2009 looks to be no different, with 2007 national champion Jemma Simpson, World 4x400m bronze medallist Marilyn Okoro and European 800m bronze medallist in 2006, Becky Lyne – now back on track after a number of injury setbacks - all vying alongside Meadows for the top two places and a guaranteed seat on the plane to Germany.

“As always there’s a really strong group of girls all determined to get those two places in the team, but that doesn’t bother me, as I’m so used to the great competition we all have, if anything it just spurs me on,” she said.

Dame Kelly Holmes, who won double Olympic gold over 800 and 1500m back in 2004, believes the talent in women’s distance running continues to show great promise as the London Olympics in 2012 draws ever closer.

Dame Kelly said: “It’s great to see that middle distance continues to provide so much excitement and promise in this country. Jenny has already shown that she is in superb form going into the summer, and I have no doubt she will be pushed all the way by the likes of Jemma, Marilyn and Becky and some of the athletes who are part of my 'On Camp with Kelly' mentoring initiative.

“It’s so important to have such strength in depth to give us an even better chance to dominate on the world stage. These girls are getting better and better so who knows what they may achieve this summer both at home and abroad.”

The Aviva World Trials & UK Championships take place at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on 10, 11 and 12 July. Tickets can be purchased online at www.uka.org.uk and by phone on 0800 055 60 56.