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Healthy British Contingent at Final

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12 September 2008



A healthy contingent of 14 British athletes will contest this weekend’s IAAF World Athletics Final in Stuttgart, Germany.  It matches the record number of Brits who contested last year’s event at the same venue.


The annual climax to the track and field season is now into its sixth edition. It features athletes who have qualified via points accumulated at the top 25 athletics meetings in the world and offers prize money of over three million US dollars, including $30,000 to each individual event winner.


Olympic 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu is amongst the British contenders and she is set for an intriguing rematch with US star Sanya Richards, the Beijing pre-race favourite who Ohuruogu famously defeated in the Bird’s Nest Stadium just over three weeks ago.


Ohuruogu will be hoping to follow the lead from Kelly Holmes, who four years ago finished her glorious Olympic year with victory in the 1500m at the World Athletics Final. Holmes remains the only British winner ever at this particular competition.


Two of Britain’s other medallists from Beijing, Germaine Mason and Natasha Danvers are also in the starting line-ups in the men’s high jump and women’s 400m hurdles respectively and will be hoping to continue their fine form as the season draws to a close.

The consistent Mason has finished in the top three in his last eight competitions on the international circuit, including his recent victory at the Aviva British Grand Prix in Gateshead. Whilst Danvers set the tone for England’s footballers this week, winning in Zagreb, Croatia on Tuesday night.


Britain’s other medallist in Beijing, triple jumper Phillips Idowu will not be in Stuttgart, having chosen to end his season early. 1500m runner Andy Baddeley is another British athlete who has turned down the chance to run in Stuttgart, also electing to close his season early.


Of the other British athletes in action, Olympic fourth-placers Goldie Sayers (javelin) and Lisa Dobriskey (1500m) will be hoping to finish fine seasons of real progress with a flourish. Another who has truly emerged as an international contender is Martyn Rooney. Sixth in Beijing, he will be looking to finish the year in style in the men’s 400m.


The other British contenders are Marlon Devonish (men’s 100m/200m), Mo Farah (men’s 3000m), Andy Turner (men’s 110m hurdles), Marilyn Okoro, Jenny Meadows (both women’s 800m), Laura Kenney, Steph Twell (both 3000m) and Helen Clitheroe (3000m steeplechase).