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UK Athletics

High standard fields for UK Indoor City Challenge

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High quality competition is in prospect at the new Lee Valley Athletics Centre on Sunday 28 January when Birmingham, Bristol, Cardiff, London North, London South and Oxford contest the second semi-final of this winter’s UK Indoor City Challenge


There were 30 personal best performances last weekend at the first semi-final, when Manchester, Glasgow and reigning champions Sheffield qualified for places in the final of the competition created by UK Athletics to help athletes take the step up in standard from regional to international level.


And many more personal records are expected this weekend as athletes chase shares of the £8,500 prize pot provided by UKA and its sponsors.


Current leaders of Power of 10 rankings set to compete include sprinter Laura Turner, 800m runner Chris Reynolds, triple jumper Nadia Williams and high jumper Samson Oni, who faces UK Challenge Champion Tom Parsons.


There are also a host of Norwich Union GB senior and junior internationals who will be aiming for the Norwich Union European Trials at the Sheffield EIS on 10 and 11 February. Among them are Lesley Owusu in the 200m and 400m, 1500m runners Charlotte Best and Jessica Sparke, hurdlers Damien Greaves, William Sharman and Julie Pratt, high jumper Julie Crane, pole vaulter Andy Marsh, long jumper Amy Harris, triple jumper Julian Golley, shot putters Emeka Udechuku and Jo Duncan, and multi eventer Roger Skedd.


And exciting entries are flowing in for the event specific 60m competition that is being incorporated into the match at the request of sprinters anxious to run on the track on which Craig Pickering clocked a world-leading 6.56 seconds at last weekend’s South of England Championships.


If you want one of the extra places in the additional races, simply contact the meeting director, Paul Aldridge by emailing paldridge@ukathletics.org.uk or telephoning him on 07736 782349 by noon on Saturday 27 January. 12 Men and 12 Women will then be selected and informed that there is a lane for them.


They will compete in extra races added to the timetable immediately after the match 60m sprints. The fastest six Men and Women will then run in their own mini-final immediately before the medley relays that traditionally form a resounding climax to the semi-final.


The match 60m currently includes World Juniors 200m bronze medallist Alex Nelson, while Mark Lewis-Francis has been pencilled-in by Oxford and will take a decision whether to run after he has competed in the Norwich Union Indoor International at the Kelvin Hall on Saturday.


Among the early entrants onto the list for the extra races is Scottish Indoor Champion Nick Smith, who is ready to take a special flight from North of the Border to take part in a quality race ahead of the European Trials.