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IAAF Continental Cup Preview

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Jo Pavey

12 September 2014

The IAAF Continental Cup takes place this weekend in Marrakesh, Morocco. As the summer track and field season draws to a close, 16 British European medallists will compete for Team Europe in the event often regarded as the ‘World Cup of Athletics’. It has also been announced today that Jo Pavey (coach: Gavin Pavey) will co-captain Team Europe to cap off an excellent summer season for the British athlete.

Five individual British European champions will compete on the track for the final time in 2014. Pavey will face a tough test from Team Africa in the 5000m including Commonwealth 10,000m gold medallist, Joyce Chepkirui. European 100m hurdles champion Tiffany Porter (Rana Reider) will face the new Diamond race champion Dawn Harper-Nelson of the Americas. Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold) will be hoping to cap off a successful summer as she faces Kaliese Spencer who has dominated the 400m hurdles this year, beating the Scot into second at the Commonwealth Games last month.
 
Double European gold medallist Martyn Rooney (Reider) will face tough opposition in the 400m as he takes on the world champion, LaShawn Merritt of the Americas. James Dasaolu (Steve Fudge) will line-up as one of the favourites in the 100m after setting a season’s best in the final Diamond League meeting in Brussels last week, as he faces Mike Rodgers of the Americas.

There will be British representatives in three of the relays in Marrakesh after a golden summer for GB & NI. The national record breaking women’s 4x100m team will compete for Team Europe after setting the new mark in the Zurich Diamond League. The formidable quartet of Asha Philip (Christine Bowmaker), Ashleigh Nelson (Michael Afilaka), Anyika Onuora (Reider) and Desiree Henry (Reider) will get a chance to take on the best in the world in North Africa.

There is British representation in the men’s 4x100m relay too as James Ellington, Richard Kilty and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (all Reider) will compete alongside one other athlete for Team Europe. Rooney will return to the track in the mixed 4x400m relay team with Conrad Williams (Linford Christie).
 
European Silver medallists Lynsey Sharp (Reider) and William Sharman (Jerzy Maciukiewicz) will be hoping to end their seasons on a high. Sharp has broken her lifetime best twice this year – the last time in the European Championships final in 1:58.80. After finishing second in the final Diamond League meeting in Brussels, the Scot will be hoping for top points in Marrakesh. Sharman has also set a new lifetime best this year in the semi-finals of the 110m hurdles of 13.16. He will face the man who beat him in that final, Sergei Shubenkov.

Newly crowned European and Commonwealth champion Greg Rutherford (Jonas Taiwah-Dodoo) will no longer take part in the long jump in Morocco, and Danny Talbot (Dan Cossins) has pulled out of the men’s 4x100m relay team.
 
The IAAF Continental Cup is a team competition between the international regions and team standings will be determined by the overall total of men's and women's points combined. As far as scoring is concerned, in individual events the first athlete will receive 8pts; second: 7pts; third: 6pts; and so on. The athlete in the 8th position will just get 1pt. The scoring differs in the relays where the winner will pocket 15pts; 2nd: 11pts; 3rd: 7pts; 4th: 3pts.

Follow @BritAthletics for updates on the GB & NI representatives for Team Europe and @iaaforg for more updates on the IAAF Continental Cup.

The timetable can be found here:
http://www.iaaf.org/competitions/iaaf-continental-cup/iaaf-continental-cup-2014-4953/timetable/byday#day1

Highlights can be found on British Eurosport on Sunday 14 and Monday 15 September.