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fraser-pryce, jeter & ukhov ready for birmingham bow

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Indoo GP

15 February 2013

Olympic 100m Champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and Olympic 100m silver medallist Carmelita Jeter were today joined by Olympic high jump gold medallist Ivan Ukhov, as the trio prepare to compete in front of a sell-out crowd at the British Athletics Grand Prix on Saturday.

In the first ever match up indoors over 60m between two of the most successful sprinters of all time, Fraser-Pryce is looking forward to racing at the NIA, in what is her first experience of competing under a closed roof.

“I’m still training like I do for a 100m, to me it’s no different but I’m looking forward to the experience. It’s my first time competing indoors, so I’m excited as you’d imagine. I’ve never actually seen inside an indoor stadium, but when I see my time, and whatever I run, it will still be a PB.  

“I don’t have a time, my target is just to do exceptional and push myself beyond what I think I can do. My target is just to go out there and give 150%.”

Fraser-Pryce, who retained her Olympic 100m title from Beijing in London and also won 200m bronze and 4x100m silver, is wary but excited at the challenge that faces her this weekend.

“I’m looking forward to facing everyone to be honest; I know there are a lot of people that are running well, including Ahoure who has run 7.00 flat. I know Carmelita and I have been having these duels very often and it’s very good to be competing against each other again. It’s great for the sport when we have rivalries and athletes that are never afraid to run against each other.”

Fraser-Pryce and Jeter have picked up 18 global medals between them in the last five seasons, and the American, a winner at the Grand Prix in 2010, believes that the rivalries that exist in today’s sprinting will help to inspire future generations.

"Shelly-Ann and I are definitely competitors, but there is no ill will there. This is my profession, this is my job to come out and race and that's what I’ll do this Saturday. 

"It's definitely a group of women who are competitors, we definitely go out there to compete and to win, unfortunately there is just one winner. But I look at it as something great for the sport on the women's side, sometimes we get a little pushed to the side in a way and now that we have this Jamaica against the USA, it gives us more exposure and attention.

“We're building for the kids that are watching us on TV for those kids who want to be the next Carmelita Jeter, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce or Veronica Campbell-Brown of the future. We're building the sport up for them and hopefully they're seeing this and saying ‘I too can be one of these great women one day’.” 

Ukhov meanwhile will be facing Olympic bronze medallist, European Champion and 2012 Diamond League winner Robbie Grabarz and is braced for another tough competition on Saturday as the Russian goes up against the home favourite.  

“Grabarz is one of the best high jumpers in the world. I am confident this Saturday and everywhere I go, but I also respect everyone. There are some great competitors out there – we have high results wherever we go, and I think it will be the same this weekend.”

After winning Olympic gold Ukhov is playing down the pressure of competing in front of a home crowd at this summer’s World Championships in Moscow, but recognises that he will be up against some strong competitors this summer.

“The 2013 World Championships are the same as any other World Championships, so I will approach it in the same way. Grabarz, Williams and Barshim along with the Russians will be my big rivals in Moscow.”

The British Athletics Grand Prix will be televised live on the BBC on Saturday 16th February.