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UK Athletics

Change to Norwich Union GB Team for Chiba

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Michael East
Michael East

Former Commonwealth 1500m Champion Michael East has had a recurrence of knee injury problems and will be replaced by Glen Comish in the Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland Men’s Team for the Chiba Ekiden Relays to be run in Japan on Thursday 23 November.


Comish (Sale Harriers Manchester) was originally named as the travelling reserve after impressing the selectors at the recent ERRA Six-Stage Road Relay, when he took only one more second than East to cover the Sutton Park course.


Comish will run a 5km stage along with Adam Bowden (Harrow AC) and Phil Nicholls (Tipton Harriers). Jermaine Mays (Kent AC) will cover 7km while the vastly experienced Jon Brown (Sheffield AC) and Peter Riley (Leigh Harriers) will both take 10km stages.


The new travelling reserve is Matt Barnes (Altrincham and District), who was a mere two seconds slower than Cornish in the relay nine days ago. If he is not required for the team in Chiba, he will contest a 5000m track race.


Meanwhile, 28-year-old East is determined to eradicate the root cause of the knee injury that has hampered him for much of the last two years.


He is this week seeing Dr Paul Dijkstra, the sports physician who helped Dame Kelly Holmes overcome her injuries and get into shape to win her Olympic double over 800m and 1500m in Athens two years ago. Dr Dijkstra is now part of the UK Athletics medical team.


East said: “It’s incredibly frustrating. I keep getting so close to fitness and then the pain keeps coming back. Dr Dijkstra has some interesting ideas, so talking to him is quite refreshing. I’m as determined as ever to prove I still have talent.”


  • The Norwich Union GB Women’s Team for Chiba comprises Helen Clitheroe (Preston Harriers), 17-year-old Sian Edwards (Kettering Town Harriers) and Laura Kenney (Royal Sutton Coldfield AC) on the 5km stages, Jenny Blizard (Rotherham Harriers) over 7km, with Wendy Jones (Cirencester AC) and Jo Wilkinson (Bedford and County AC) each racing 10km. The travelling reserve is Gemma Turtle (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers).