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Aviva British Grand Prix Preview

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28 August 2008

 

 

 

The AVIVA British Grand Prix, which will be held on Sunday 31 August, is the last athletic meeting in this year’s UK Athletics major events season and is set to be a fitting finale.

 

The Gateshead International Stadium will play host to Olympic and World 400m champion Christine Ohuruogu (Newham & Essex Beagles),Olympictriple jump and high jump silver medallists Phillips Idowu (Belgrave Harriers) and Germaine Mason (unattached) and Olympic 400m hurdles bronze medallist Tasha Danvers (Shaftsbury Barnett Harriers)as they return to domestic competition in front of a home crowd.

 

The competition will feature no fewer than 18 Olympic medallists including Jamaican 100m winner Shelly-Ann Fraser and Ethiopia’s long distance sensation Tirunesh Dibaba who won double gold in the 5000m and 10,000m.

 

Crowds will be treated to an action packed day of competition from Britain’s best; 400m finalist Martyn Rooney (Croydon), 200m finalist Christian Malcolm, 100m finalist Jeanette Kwakye (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies), 1500m finalist Andy Baddeley (Harrow AC)and 1500m fourth placer Lisa Dobriskey (Ashford)to name but a few.

 

Here are the main ten to follow for Sunday’s action:

 

Men’s 100m

Asafa Powell, who equalled his then world record the last time he competed in Gateshead, ran a superb final leg in the 4 x 100m relay to help bring home another gold medal for Jamaica.

However, the former world record holder will be looking to prove he can still be a big name in the world stage after a disappointing showing in the 100m final Beijing. Powell takes on Craig Pickering and Tyrone Edgar, both members of Team GB’s 4 x 100m relay team that were disqualified in their heat in Beijing.

 

Men’s 200m

The Olympic Games came just too soon for world 100m and 200m champion Tyson Gay who had struggled with a hamstring injury in the build up to Beijing. But the American remains one of the world’s great sprinters and will look to underline that here. Britain’s finalist from Beijing Christian Malcolm also goes, as does Wallace Spearmon, who finished third in China only to be disqualified for stepping outside his lane.

 

Men’s Triple Jump

Phillips Idowu jumped a season’s best 17.62m in Beijing to come home with a much-deserved Olympic silver medal from his third Games but his look of dejection told its own story.

The 29-year-old has enjoyed a fantastic year so far, winning the World Indoor title back in March and topping the world rankings for much of the year. He will join fellow Britons Larry Achike, who finished 7th behind Idowu in China and Nathan Douglas and Grenada’s Randy Lewis the World number six.

 

Men’s High Jump

Germaine Mason, the Jamaican-born high jumper won a silver medal in Beijing, he was in outstanding form in Beijing, equaling his personal best of 2.34m to bring home Team GB’s first athletics medal of the 2008 Games. The 25-year-old is now third highest ever GB high jumper behind legends Steve Smith and Dalton Grant.

He will take on fellow Briton Tom Parsons who made the Olympic final, and the reigning world champion Donald Thomas.

 

Women’s 100m

Shelly Ann Fraser is the star of this race, she continued Jamaica’s superb form on the track in Beijing winning the 100m in 10.78, the fastest winning time in the Olympics for 20 years. Running alongside her will be Jeanette Kwakye who was the first British sprinter to make the Olympic final since 1984, finishing an outstanding sixth and Montell Douglas the current British record holder over this distance.

 

Women’s 400m

Christine Ohuruogu’s stunning performance in Beijing rounded off a superb twelve months for the 24-year-old, adding Olympic gold to the World title she won in Osaka last year. History was in the making too as Ohuruogu became the first British woman to win Olympic gold over one lap on the flat.

Here in Gateshead the London athlete faces Britain’s other 400m runner from Beijing, World silver medallist Nicola Sanders, and Olympic World 4x400m Champion, Mary Wineberg from the USA.

 

Women’s 1500m

Lisa Dobriskey became Britain’s top middle distance runner with a fabulous if frustrating fourth place in Beijing, just missing out on a medal in the 1500m. The 24-year-old, who won Commonwealth gold in 2006, faces GB team mate Stephanie Twell who won 1500m gold at the World Junior Championships last month and Gelete Burka the World Indoor bronze medallist.

 

Women’s 3000m

The outstanding Ethiopian long distance star, Tirunesh Dibaba,  added to her medal tally taking both the women’s 5000m and 10,000m in Beijing. The 23-year-old, who retained her World 10,000m title in Osaka last year, lived up to her number one status with yet more stunning performances in China, setting a new Olympic record with a trademark sprint to the line in the 10,000m.

 

Women’s 400m Hurdles

Natasha Danvers, the 30-year-old mum from London underlined her ability in the 400m hurdles with a series of impressive performances, culminating in a bronze medal and a lifetime best in the final. She will face the gold medallist Melaine Walker whose time of 52.64 seconds was a new Olympic and national Jamaican record. She has enjoyed an impressive season with victories in Ostrava, Rome and at the Aviva London Grand Prix this season.

They will both face national champion Perri Shakes-Drayton, who beat Danvers at the Trials last month.

 

Women’s Javelin

Goldie Sayers, Britain’s number one javelin thrower, finished an impressive fourth at the Olympic Games, breaking her own British record with a new personal best of 65.75m with her first throw. The 26 year old had two throws over 65m in a very high level competition and vowed to come back fighting at the London Olympics in 2012.

 

 

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