10th February 2009

Dobrynska Signs For Grand Prix


11 February 2009

OLYMPIC heptathlon champion Natalya Dobrynska has her sights set on a head to head with British rival Kelly Sotherton in Birmingham next week.

The pair will take part in a special three-event challenge at the Aviva Grand Prix at the National Indoor Arena on February 21.

The Ukrainian last competed in the city in 2007 when she finished fifth as Sotherton took the silver medal at the European Indoor Championships.

And she’s relishing the chance to take on the former Olympic bronze medallist in her home town.

Dobrynska said:  “Kelly and I have not interacted that much, but that’s probably because we are always around each other in competition so it’s not really a social setting.

“In general my relationships with rivals are always friendly and I look forward to competing against Kelly again here this weekend.

“I last competed in England when I took part in the European Indoor Championships which were in fact in Birmingham. I finished fifth so will be looking to do better this weekend.

“Something that surprised me about Birmingham was that it was quite cold outside but there were people wearing only t-shirts!”

Sotherton has a superior head to head record against Dobrynska, placing better on 13 of the 17 occasions they have competed in the same event.

But Dobrynska travels to the showpiece NIA meeting in great shape after her stunning Olympic success last summer.

Dobrynska added: “The win in Beijing did not hit me straight away. It was only when journalists started calling me every day, asking for interviews and photo shoots, that I realised what I’d achieved.”

Athletes in the three-event challenge at the Aviva Grand Prix will compete over the 60m hurdles, 400m and long jump.

A quality line up also includes world indoor bronze medallist Anna Bogdanova and another Birmingham-based Brit Louise Hazel.

Tickets for the Aviva Grand Prix at the NIA, Birmingham on Saturday 21st February are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk