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European Indoor Preview

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Marilyn Okoro tracked by Jenny Meadows
Okoro and Meadows - both in contention for medals in Turin


05 March 2009

The Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland Team are in Turin, Italy making their final preparations for the European Indoor Championships which begins on Friday. Two years ago, GB & NI won a record 10 medals at these championships on home soil in Birmingham.

Following the exertions of Olympic year, many prominent members of the GB & NI Team have decided to forego the indoor season, but Head Coach Charles van Commenee still believes the team is well capable of a good championship.

He said: "The European Indoor Championships is a great competition opportunity and is where many of the greats of British athletics, including Seb Coe, launched their championship careers. We have a good team here, with some athletes that are inexperienced, but also very capable.

"It is competitions like this that they can learn how to win. As a team I believe we can aim for around five medals from Turin."

GB & NI will be looking to the men's 60m, women's 800m and men's 3000m as prospective medal possibilities. In the men's 60m, Dwain Chambers (Belgrave Harriers) and Simeon Williamson (Highgate Harriers) are ranked European no1 and no2 this year so are highly fancied for medals.

Completing a strong sprints trio is 2007 silver medallist Craig Pickering (Marshall Milton Keynes).

In the women's 800m, Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnet) and Jenny Meadows (Wigan AC) have both shown tremendous form already this season.

Okoro is second in the European rankings with Meadows also within the top five.

In the men's 3000m, Mo Farah (Newham & Essex) is ranked no1 in Europe after a storming indoor campaign that has seen him smash the UK record twice. Quietly making progress behind Farah is Nick McCormick (Morpeth Harriers) who is ranked sixth in Europe ahead of this weekend's action.

Elsewhere, GB & NI could look to the improving Richard Buck (City of

York) in the men's 400m, European long jump silver medallist Greg Rutherford (Marshall Milton Keynes), European Indoor bronze medallist Martyn Bernard (Wakefield Harriers), experienced 400m runner Donna Fraser (Croydon Harrier), European 110m hurdles bronze medallist Andy Turner (Sale Harriers Manchester) and both 4x400m teams as strong contenders.