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MEADOWS TO USE AVIVA SERIES DATES AS PLATFORM FOR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

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Jenny Meadows

19 May 2011

World and European bronze medallist Jenny Meadows will compete at both the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix and Aviva London Grand Prix as she goes in search of her first major title at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu later this summer.

The 800m Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland star will compete first at the Birmingham Alexander Stadium on 10 July, before venturing to the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre on 5-6 August.

Meadows opened her account for the outdoor season with a convincing win at the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Shanghai on Sunday. The 30-year-old looked comfortable throughout as she broke with 300m to go to stride to victory and maximum points with a time of 2:00.54.

Shanghai was Meadows’ first appearance this summer after a successful indoor season which saw her win at both the Aviva International Match and also at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham.

Her only disappointment was her failure to turn silver into gold in the 800m at the European Championships in Paris in March – a disappointment she is keen to reverse when she travels to South Korea this August.

She said: “I’m really pleased to be competing at both the Aviva London Grand Prix and the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix this year. The Samsung Diamond League is playing a major part in my year as it’s really important that I am competing against the very best in the world in preparation for both the World Championships and the Olympics.

“I know that the field for both meets in the UK will be competitive, it should provide a real show for the spectators but also give me some good races at a really important stage of the season.

“The World Championships are so important to me; I would love to better my bronze from Berlin in 2009. It was such a good year for me and started a run of success which was just incredible, but I want to keep building on that.

“I was disappointed after Paris, although a silver is great in hindsight, I wanted to get my first major title under my belt and I still do!”

Meadows’ victory in Shanghai was her first in the competition since its inception in 2010 and only the second ever for a Briton, after Phillips Idowu in Gateshead last year.

The Wigan and District Harriers runner beat off a host of star names to take the spoils in what was her first of several outings in the competition this year.

And she is keen to use the performance in Shanghai as a springboard to further success, not only in the UK where she will also compete for her first ever outdoor title at the Aviva UK Trials and Championships, but in worldwide competition.

She added: “This was my first outdoor meet and it’s always nerve racking going in to your first competition after a period of training. Of course, I was confident that I could do well but there’s always a small thought in your head where you’re wondering if you’re at the stage you need to be. Obviously from the race [Shanghai], I’m in good form.

“I felt really good out there and am so pleased to start off my season like this – hopefully I’ll be able to continue just like this and continue to get wins as we lead up to the World Championships. I’m very pleased.”

Meadows joins an all-star cast of British and international athletes set to head to the UK this summer, adding her name to a growing list of stars already signed to the Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix and Aviva London Grand Prix meets. Meadows will join Asafa Powell (100m), Tyson Gay (100m), Mark Lewis-Francis (100m), Christine Ohuruogu (400m), Sanya Richards-Ross (400m), David Oliver (110m hurdles), Phillips Idowu (triple jump), Andreas Thorkildsen (javelin throw) and Carmelita Jeter (100m, 200m) in action in the UK this summer, fast building as the marquee destination of the global league series.  

The Aviva Birmingham Grand Prix will be at the Alexander Stadium on 10 July, the Aviva UK Trials and Championships will be at Alexander Stadium 29-31 July and the Aviva London Grand Prix will be at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre 5-6 August. For tickets or more information go to uka.org.uk/aviva-series or phone 08000 556 056.