18th May 2010

Meadows Eyes Up Trials


18 May 2010

With tomorrow marking 800 days until the London 2012 Olympics, Jenny Meadows is hoping to add a European Championship medal to her World 800m bronze, starting with the Aviva European Trials and UK Championships, held at the Alexander Stadium on 25 -27 June.

Meadows enjoyed an astonishing indoor season which saw her break Dame Kelly Holmes’ long standing indoor 800m record at the Aviva Grand Prix in February. The ‘Pocket Rocket’  then went on to demonstrate her world class form when she claimed silver at the World Indoor Championships in Doha in a time of 1.58.43s, for a second National Record in three weeks.

The Wigan born athlete, keen to continue her dominance over 800m, is looking forward to competing against the best in Britain and attributes her success to the challenge she faces on home soil.

She said: “I love competing at the Aviva European Trials and UK Championships, it really is the heart of athletics and the crowd are always so supportive and ready to cheer you on to success. 2009 was obviously an amazing year for me and 2010 has continued to be brilliant.

“The European Championships are definitely on my radar this year. After having such success last year I do feel a certain amount of pressure to do well but I think that can only be a good thing.

“We have a fantastic bunch of GB athletes now who are so talented and really provide great competition on the track – although it’s fantastic to race against the internationally elite, we have some superb girls in this country who push me just as hard. I always look forward to lining up against them and seeing how far I can push myself”.

Jemma Simpson, who beat Meadows to win the World Trials last year, is looking for a place at the European Championships and will be snapping at the heels of Britain’s number one.

She said: ““The Europeans are my main aim in 2010, I have done very well in the major Grand Prix races and have a high world ranking and would like to transfer this form to the Major Championships.

“I’m looking forward to the Aviva European Trials and UK Championships, I haven’t competed throughout the indoor season so it’s fantastic to get back on track in the British sunshine and try to defend my 800m title.

“The standard of GB girls in my discipline now is really high with three athletes ranked in the world’s top 10, some people may think that’s a bad thing but all it does is push you harder – you don’t need to wait until international competitions to be pushed, it’s a good thing.”

Marilyn Okoro, who won silver at the European Indoor Championships in Turin in 2009, as part of the Women’s 4 x 400m relay team, and who also reached the 800m  final in Berlin, is determined to win a place at the European championships this year and is certain that the stiff competition she is facing from her fellow Brits will mean she puts in a solid performance in Birmingham.

She said: “Birmingham is a fantastic place to compete, it really is the home of athletics in the UK so there’s a passionate crowd and just a really good vibe in general.

“To get to the European Championships would be great for me, Gothenburg in 2006 was a really good experience when I competed over 400m but I would love to improve on my performance and I think there’s a good chance that I will.

“Competing at major championships immediately sets you on edge but it’s just a really exciting time and you have to put the magnitude of the situation behind you and just get on with what you need to do.”

Tickets for the Aviva European Trials and UK Championships at the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham, on 25th – 27th June are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.uka.org.uk. Book your tickets before May 21 and receive a 10% discount. 

Jenny Meadows has confirmed that she will take the Manchester Team Captaincy in the forthcoming 2010 Super8 competition at Scotstoun, Glasgow, on Wednesday 7th July 2010.