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Sprinters set to light up SAINSBURY’S INDOOR GRAND PRIX

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Press Conference

14 February 2014

Nesta Carter, Kim Collins, David Oliver and Richard Browne exchanged their Valentine’s Day gifts with Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce ahead of the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday 15 February.

Two-time 100m Olympic champion Fraser-Pryce returns to the NIA after finishing behind Murielle Ahoure last year in the first indoor meet of her career and is relishing facing the competition again this weekend, which includes the Ivorian, who is ranked the fastest woman in the world this year.

“Right now I’m just focussing on the season and running well here in Birmingham. Athletics in the UK always has jaw dropping line ups, which is great as you always want to race against the best in the world.”

The 27 year old is using the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix in preparation for the World Indoors in March, one of the few medals missing from the Jamaican’s extensive collection.

“I did two indoor races last year, but this year this meet is my only one before the World Indoor Championships, so I’m really looking forward to getting out there. It’s two races, so I’m just planning to give it my all.”

Fraser-Pryce was joined by countryman Nesta Carter, who will go up against a formidable line-up in the men’s 60m, which includes the top two from the 2013 European Indoor Championships, Jimmy Vicaut and James Dasaolu (coach: Steve Fudge), as well as 2010 World Indoor 60m silver medallist Mike Rodgers and the man who beat him to gold that year, Britain’s Dwain Chambers (Rana Reider).

Carter, a World Indoor silver medallist himself from 2012 is looking to improve on his second place finish from last year, and has set his sights on running another personal best at the NIA after running 6.49 two years ago.

“I love running here in Birmingham. The Sainsbury's Indoor Grand Prix is always good fun. This is where I got my personal best and I'm here again to hopefully run another personal best. I'm going to go out there and do what I've got to do,” said Carter, who is four-time global 4x100m gold medallist.

“I think I'm in pretty good shape. There is a strong line-up, there always is when I come to the UK to run.”

Joining Carter on the 60m startline is 2003 World Champion Kim Collins, who believes it will take a world-leading time to win at the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix tomorrow.

“It’s a very strong field and I know people will have to go beyond their limits in order to win this weekend. I’m looking forward to that, because I need to win.

“It will definitely take in the 6.40 region to win and there are guys here that are capable of that and it’s a great track also.

“I’m in great shape, much better than last year and I’m very confident that I’ll be in the mix. The aim is to go quicker, and the aim is to firstly do it indoors and then of course outdoors. I’m looking forward to running a PB this weekend.”

Fresh from his 110m hurdles triumph at the World Championships in Moscow last year, David Oliver will make his long-awaited return to the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix after competing at the NIA five years ago.

“It’s one of the great indoor venues and I know it’s been sold out for a long time, so I’m looking to put in a good performance this weekend. If I were to come to one race before the US Indoor Trials, it would be this one. You get two runs, the schedule is perfect and coming to the UK is the best. The fans know their stuff, they’re very appreciative and the sport is very big here so why not go where there is the maximum support?”

Oliver will face World bronze medallist Sergey Shubenkov and British trio Andrew Pozzi (Malcolm Arnold), William Sharman (Jerzy Maciukiewicz) and Andy Turner (Lloyd Cowan).

“I’ve not got a time in mind, I just want to go out there and win. That’s all I ever think about, winning, and the times will take care of themselves if you keep putting forward good performances. This is my first indoor race of the season and I see no better place to kick it off than in Birmingham.”

After winning the T44 60m at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match in January, T44 100m world record holder Richard Browne is excited to return to the UK and believes that there is no bigger supporter of para-athletics.

Browne said: “It’s my last indoor meet of the season and Sainsbury’s always put on a great meet. I love coming to Britain and I’m really looking forward to tomorrow.

“British Athletics is a big supporter of para-athletics, they love putting on big meets and involving us in the Grand Prix circuit. The UK put a great show on at London 2012 and then at the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games last year.

“I’m feeling really good – I had a great few days at home with my coach. I wasn’t quite satisfied with Glasgow, so hopefully I can make up for it tomorrow and go a lot quicker.”

For full startlists, visit:http://www.britishathletics.org.uk/british-athletics-series/sainsburys-indoor-grand-prix/event-schedule/

You can also watch the Sainsbury’s Indoor Grand Prix live on BBC One on Saturday from 13.15pm

Why not join in the conversation too by following @BritAthletics and using the hashtag #IndoorGP.