18th December 2008

Sotherton To Face Dobrynska In New Year




18 December 2008





Kelly Sotherton will take on the reigning Olympic heptathlon champion, Natalia Dobrynska, from the Ukraine in a special three-event challenge set to take place at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham on February 21.


Sotherton, who came fourth at the Olympic Games in Beijing this summer, returns to the Birmingham NIA after a year which saw her missing out on a medal by just 74 points whilst the unfancied Dobrynska performed superbly in the Birds Nest Stadium in Beijing to take the gold medal. The pair will take on the 60m hurdles, long jump and the 400m.


Sotherton is competing in all three of the UK Athletics indoor Major Events in the New Year including the Aviva International Match at Glasgow on January 31 and the Aviva European Trials and UK Championships in Sheffield on February 14 and 15.


Sotherton and Dobrynska are set to meet again in the World Championships in August but before that Sotherton has her sights on the European Indoor Championships in Turin in March.


An upbeat Sotherton said:


“2008 was a tough year but I’m looking forward to getting back into competition at the Indoors.  With the European indoor Championships in March and the World Championships in August I have plenty to focus on and I am looking forward to it.”


Dobrynska is looking forward to competing in Birmingham again:


“I have had a great year and am keen to take this good form into 2009. There are the World Championships in Berlin but before that I am returning to Birmingham, where last time I was there I came 5th at the Aviva Grand Prix.


"I will be up against Kelly Sotherton who for me is still one of the girls to beat in the heptathlon. I am sure she is hurting after Beijing and knowing her character she will come out stronger and keen to prove any doubters wrong. I look forward to taking on Kelly at her hometrack in Birmingham.”


Tickets for the Aviva Grand Prix at the Birmingham National Indoor Arena on Saturday 21 February are available by phone on 08000 556 056 or online at www.ukathletics.net