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UK Athletics

Jason Gardener picks up pace with victory in Vienna

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Jason Gardener (Wessex and Bath AC), who hopes to bid for his fourth European Indoor 60m title at the National Indoor Arena, Birmingham, on 2-4 March, accelerated to victories in 6.58 seconds and 6.62 seconds at the AthleticBet Vienna Indoor Classic on Tuesday night, 30 January.


It puts ‘the Bath Bullet’ only three-hundredths of a second behind his 20-year-old training partner, Craig Pickering (Marshal Milton Keynes AC), who clocked a world-leading 6.55 seconds in scoring a victory at last Saturday’s Norwich Union International at the Kelvin Hall, Glasgow.


Gardener proved he is now fully over the ‘flu that forced him to withdraw from the DM Hall Scottish Indoor Championships and slowed him at the NU International as he won his heat in 6.58 seconds and finished almost three metres clear in the final in 6.62 with Mark Findlay (Newham and Essex Beagles) fourth in 6.67.


Gardener said: "With hindsight I shouldn´t have competed in Glasgow. I was just back from ´flu which had laid me low for a week. But I went ahead with it as I badly needed a race, having not competed for a long time.


"This was more like me tonight. Obviously I would have liked to have run faster in the final but waiting around for one-and-half hours, I got cold. This has cheered me up after Glasgow and now I just need to get more races under belt.”


The next stop is Stuttgart on Saturday 3 February … Gardener against Pickering plus Francis Obikwelu (Portugal), last summer´s European 100m and 200m outdoor gold medallist, and Ronald Pognon (France), who beat Gardener´s European record by one-hundredth-of-a-second with a time of 6.45 seconds.