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victory for aviva gb&ni team

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Ennis celebrates at Glasgow

 

30 January 2010

Click here for the Aviva International match results

Celebrations were in order as the Aviva Great Britain & Northern Ireland team took a thrilling victory at the Aviva International Match at Kelvin Hall.

In an exciting event where the deciding result went right to the wire, GB beat the USA team 63 points to 60, with Germany, Commonwealth Select and Sweden following on.

 

Jessica Ennis gave the Kelvin Hall the best possible start to the afternoon with a UK Indoor record and a superlative performance over 60m – disposing of defending World Indoor Champion Lolo Jones in the process and setting the fastest time in the world this year.

The Sheffield athlete, who was guesting in the event, surprised the Glasgow crowd but moreso herself in taking just 7.95 seconds to take the victory and pick up the prize of $5000.

Immediately after she said:

“I’m shocked, absolutely shocked. The season’s started up really well.

“Obviously I’m made up and hope that I can do something similar in the high jump,” she said before speeding off to put her final preparations in place. And similar it was, as Ennis cleared 1.94m to take second position – an indoor PB and signs that everything in her training is headed in the right direction.

“I felt in good shape before I came here but to come and do all that in front of a big crowd, with it being on TV and everything, that’s great. You always worry you’re not going to perform well when everyone’s watching.

“And beating Lolo Jones. That’s mad! I never really expect to win here because it’s such a high calibre, so I’m happy to get a good quality race and see where I end up. So to win it is fantastic. I feel everything is slotting in nicely for Doha.”

Not wanting to be outdone by Ennis however, Great Britain’s Craig Pickering made sure of ongoing Kelvin Hall stardom by taking a close men’s 60m victory in the final event of the day.

Not wanting to be outdone by Ennis however, Great Britain’s Craig Pickering made sure of ongoing Kelvin Hall stardom by taking a close men’s 60m victory in the final event of the day.

It was the fourth victory in a row at the Aviva International Match by Pickering, who faced his ever improving GB teammate Harry Aikines-Aryeetey as well as Mark Jelks for the USA. In the end though Pickering drove through and pipped Jelks and the fast finishing field by 6.66 secs to 6.68 for maximum points, securing the match win for the Aviva GB & NI team.

Pickering said: “It was great to get a win and retain my title, not a great performance but it’s the first of the year. I got back from warm weather training in South Africa three days ago and I am looking forward to the rest of the indoor season. It would be great to get wins at all three UKA events but I have to race a strong field in Sheffield. I’m not planning to do the World Indoors but I love competing at these events.”

Jenny Meadows was another World Championship star to add a touch of class to the Kelvin Hall proceedings in the 800m. Taking the lead after the first 200m she led all the way until crossing the line for a well deserved win.

Describing her winter training as having been ‘fun’, the Wigan athlete reported that her recent training camp had gone well and had set her up for a good indoor campaign.

“It’s the first race of the season and you never know what the opposition will race. I felt really comfortable and a win’s a win. The curved bank made me set off fast and it was a little physical but I stood my ground and I will have to get used to that in Doha.”

Leon Baptiste showed excellent form in beating Olympic Gold medallist Shawn Crawford to the 200m victory in 21.34. The Enfield and Haringey man ran a strong race from lane three just inside Crawford, who faded to third spot in 21.60.

Baptiste said: “I’m really pleased, Shawn being in the race gave me extra inspiration to do well. The whole point of today was to execute the race well and I did that.

“I was quietly confident about the race, I’m in really good shape, and although it’s not the best time, it was a great race with a fantastic atmosphere.”

Helen Clitheroe was another British winner to receive a rousing reception from the crowd. On the last lap of the 3000m she was overtaken by Germany’s  Sabrina Mockenhaupt, but using the 1500m speed that was once part of her everyday armory, sped past over the final 50m for a thrilling win in 9.05.87.

Reflecting on her fast finish she said: “I have got speed this year! I have been training with Trevor Painter (Meadows’ coach) this year, I have not discounted my endurance but have gone back to where I started from and I am really excited about it.

“I did not really want to lead but it’s hard work if you don’t want to be up the steep lanes. I don’t know what I will concentrate on this year, the steeplechase or 1500m- my heart says the 1500m but I will leave my options open and see what happens over the indoor season.”

Chris Tomlinson won the men’s long jump but the anticipated head to head between him and reigning world indoor champion Godfrey Mokoena did not materialize with the Commonwealth Select athlete withdrawing with injury prior to the event. It was nevertheless a strong performance by Tomlinson who leapt 7.99m to take maximum points for the Aviva GB & NI team.

Chris Tomlinson won the men’s long jump but the anticipated head to head between him and reigning world indoor champion Godfrey Mokoena did not materialize with the Commonwealth Select athlete withdrawing with injury prior to the event. It was nevertheless a strong performance by Tomlinson who leapt 7.99m to take maximum points for the Aviva GB & NI team.

He said: “It’s always going to be difficult with only four guys in the competition. But it’s great coming up here and the crowd always cheers you on. I guess it’s about who wins in the end not who leads at the half way stage.

“My jump was OK although it would have been nice if it was a centimetre more because that would have been 8m. But it’s an OK start and I certainly think I’m in OK shape to improve on that.”

GB debutante Bernice Wilson was an impressive second behind the world’s fastest woman Carmelita Jeter in the women’s 60m. Wilson set a PB of 7.37 as Jeter’s strong drive pulled the young Brit through, and left Bahamian Chandra Sturrup in third position. Jeter won in 7.19.

GB debutante Bernice Wilson was an impressive second behind the world’s fastest woman Carmelita Jeter in the women’s 60m. Wilson set a PB of 7.37 as Jeter’s strong drive pulled the young Brit through, and left Bahamian Chandra Sturrup in third position. Jeter won in 7.19.

Afterwards a gob-smacked Wilson said: “I’m very happy with the way I performed, I was nervous but I got through it, I’m just really, really pleased.”

Another GB athlete taking second was Lisa Dobriskey in the women’s 1500m. Dobriskey looked to be in control but USA athlete Heidi Dahl was able to pull away in the last 100m for a convincing win.

Richard Buck ran a solid race to take second in the men’s 400m, his 47.26 just shy of taking maximum points as he crossed the line close to race winner Jamaal Torrance of the USA with 47.19.

Buck said: “I’m happy with the time, I don’t think I gave myself justice out there, I’m a lot fitter than that race showed. Jamaal managed to race it better so I have to take that.”

In the men’s 60m hurdles Gianni Frankis finished fourth behind USA’s David Oliver who ran a barn storming 7.58 in taking a popular victory. The American, who had built up a Scottish following in becoming a fan of Glasgow Celtic, was majestic in his win and clocked the second fastest time in the world for 2010.

In the men’s 60m hurdles Gianni Frankis finished fourth behind USA’s David Oliver who ran a barn storming 7.58 in taking a popular victory. The American, who had built up a Scottish following in becoming a fan of Glasgow Celtic, was majestic in his win and clocked the second fastest time in the world for 2010.

In the men’s 3000m Mike Skinner ran a quality race to take second place for the Aviva GB and NI team. Sitting mid pack for much of the race, he turned on the pace in the final lap to outsprint Germany’s  Arthur Lenz, and narrowly missed out on catching race-winner Sammy Mutahi for the Commonwealth Select.

Victoria Barr was third in a quality women’s 400m clocking an indoor PB of 53.83. Jamaican race winner Novlene Williams running for the Commonwealth Select won in 52.83.

Barr said: “There were two good girls in the race so I knew I just had to be really competitive. I’m in good shape and I haven’t run a 400m indoors for a long time. I got a personal best, it’s a good time and I’m happy with that.”

Luke Cutts (5.50m) upstaged his fellow GB pole-vaulter Steve Lewis (5.30m) coming out on top in the men’s competition although both were beaten for maximum points by Germany’s Bjorn Otto who had one less failure than Cutts in reaching 5.50m.

Luke Cutts (5.50m) upstaged his fellow GB pole-vaulter Steve Lewis (5.30m) coming out on top in the men’s competition although both were beaten for maximum points by Germany’s Bjorn Otto who had one less failure than Cutts in reaching 5.50m.

Reflecting in his disappointment, Lewis said: “It was fine but I just feel like it’s not really a reflection of where I’m at. I just feel frustrated because during the winter I felt strong, felt fast. It’s more rhythm and timing rather that finding out what’s going wrong. I just need a few more competitions. I jump against these guys a lot so it was a really good match competition.”

Nathan Douglas was second in the men’s triple jump behind former GB triple Jumper Tosin Oke. Oke, who now represents Nigeria and took maximum points for the Commonwealth Select leapt to 16.73m, taking the victory by just 5cm from Douglas’ 16.68m.

Nathan Douglas was second in the men’s triple jump behind former GB triple Jumper Tosin Oke. Oke, who now represents Nigeria and took maximum points for the Commonwealth Select leapt to 16.73m, taking the victory by just 5cm from Douglas’ 16.68m.

GB ‘s 800m representative Joe Thomas had his work cut out in a quality field including the reigning World Champion Mbulaeni Mulaudzi. Yet it was Germany’s Robin Schembera who took the win in 1.48.55, with Thomas in fourth with 1.50.73.

Finally, Helen Pryer took to the boards for the women’s one lap competition but struggled against quality opposition finishing fourth in 24.62. Winner was USA’s LaShuantea Moore in 23.65.