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UK Athletics

Turner and Oliver go head-to-head in Birmingham and Glasgow

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Avuva Series head to head

16 December 2010

Newly-crowned European and Commonwealth champion Andy Turner will go head-to-head with  this year’s fastest hurdler, US star David Oliver at Glasgow’s Aviva International Match on January 29 and the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham on February 19.

The pair, who are former training partners and good friends, follow World and European heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis in announcing their participation in the Aviva Series.

Glasgow will be the first appearance for Turner since his whirlwind 2010 season which saw him claim gold in New Delhi, just months after storming to the top of the podium in Barcelona in July.

Also coming off the back of an amazing summer is Olympic bronze medallist Oliver, who, having claimed bronze at the World Indoor Championships, went unbeaten in all 15 races of his outdoor season.

With the IAAF World Championships in Daegu next summer firmly at the forefront of both athletes’ minds, Turner admits victories at the Kelvin Hall and NIA will provide the winner with more than just personal pride.

Turner said: “This year has been unbelievable and one of the things I'm looking forward to most about 2011 is being introduced on the start-line as both the European and Commonwealth champion.

“I'm hoping the fans in both Glasgow and Birmingham will really get behind me because David (Oliver) is currently the best in the hurdler world and the races will be tough. Getting points for your team at the Aviva International Match is added motivation, so I will have that in mind.

“He joked over the summer that I always beat him over the 60m flat when we trained together, so come January I hope I can give him a good race.

“My thirst for major championship medals hasn't stopped and the Aviva Grand Prix will be an important part of my overall build up to the World Championships and Olympic Games.”

Despite competing on the international circuit alongside each other this will be the first time the pair have met in indoor competition since the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham two years ago. Neither athlete finished in the top spot of that race, with Oliver finishing fourth and Turner in sixth. And this will be the first time the pair will meet at Kelvin Hall, despite having dominated the past few years, with Turner winning in 2007 and Oliver taking titles in 2008 and 2010.

But with both athletes now in the form of their careers, Oliver knows he will have to be at this best if he is to continue his unbeaten indoor record in five outings against the Nottingham-born hurdler.

Oliver said: “The Aviva International Match was a great start to my season this year. There’s no better feeling than pulling on the US jersey and taking maximum points for your team.  Being able to take a lap of honour while waving the stars and stripes is something I definitely want to be doing again in January.

“But I know Andy (Turner) will be hot on my heels because he had a great year in 2010 and the crowd will be behind him. Andy is a great competitor and over the 60m hurdles he’s always a threat to me, so it should be a good match-up.”

And the 28-year-old expressed his delight at once again competing at Birmingham, the training base for the US track and field team ahead of the Olympics in 2012.

He added: “Birmingham is a city I always enjoying going to and the Aviva Grand Prix is one of the best events on the indoor circuit. We normally only go in the winter to Birmingham so it’s nice that now with the Diamond League there in July I might have the chance to see it in the sun! I hope to be there in 2012 as part of the US track and field team, but why wait until then to come and watch us? We want Birmingham getting behind us now.”

Click HERE to buy tickets to the Aviva Series!