Reigning Champions to Return to Sainsbury’s Indoor Champs
A total of 12 reigning British champions will look to win another title at the Sainsbury’s Indoor British Championships, which take place on 14-15 February. With the added incentive of selection for the European Indoor Championships in Prague being at stake, many of GB & NI’s top athletes are expected to line up at Sheffield’s EIS.
A crop of talented female sprinters including world junior 100m champion Dina Asher-Smith (coach: John Blackie, club: Blackheath & Bromley), recent GB & NI representative Rachel Johncock (Leon Baptiste, Swansea Harriers) and 2013 runner-up Annabelle Lewis (Rana Reider, Kingston upon Hull) will battle to become British 60m champion at the Sainsbury’s Indoor British Championships on 14-15 February.
The men’s 60m will be equally competitive as the latest Brit to break 10 seconds for 100m, Chijindu Ujah (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo, Enfield & Haringey), goes up against training partners Sean Safo-Antwi (Tawiah-Dodoo, Enfield & Haringey) and 2010 world indoor champion Dwain Chambers (Tawiah-Dodoo, Belgrave), who was runner-up in 2014.
Katarina Johnson-Thompson (Mike Holmes, Liverpool Harriers) broke the British high jump record at the 2014 Sainsbury’s Indoor British Championships and will contest the same event again, where she will face new outdoor British record holder Isobel Pooley (Fuzz Ahmed, Aldershot Farnham & District) and current world junior champion Morgan Lake (Eldon Lake, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow).
Jenny Meadows (Trevor Painter, Wigan & District) will be chasing her eighth British title in the 800m, 13 years after winning her first in 2002. The 2011 European Indoor champion has returned to her best form in recent weeks, running under two minutes twice in the space of four days with victories in Vienna and Torun, Poland.
Another athlete who will head to Sheffield in great form is Lawrence Clarke (Malcolm Arnold, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow). The 24 year old, who finished fourth in the 110m hurdles at the London 2012 Olympic Games, has set four 60m hurdles personal bests in the last month and ran a world class 7.59 in France last weekend. His biggest threat is likely to come from world junior bronze medallist David Omoregie (Mike Guest, Cardiff), who ran for GB & NI at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match last month.
The women’s 3000m will also be hotly contested as 2011 IAAF World Championship silver medallist Hannah England (Bud Baldaro, Oxford City) faces the top two from 2014, Charlene Thomas (Aaron Thomas, Wakefield) and Josephine Moultrie (William Parker, Victoria Park City of Glasgow), as well as 21 year old Emelia Gorecka (Mick Woods, Aldershot Farnham & District), former world junior 800m silver medallist Jessica Judd (George Gandy, Chelmsford) and 2008 world junior 1500m champion Stephanie Twell (Woods, Aldershot Farnham & District).
In another women’s middle distance event Laura Muir (Andy Young, Dundee Hawkhill) will look to regain the 1500m title she won in Sheffield in 2013. She will arrive in superb form having smashed her 3000m personal best with a time of 8:49.73 in Karlsruhe last month.
Two local athletes will go head to head in the men’s pole vault as senior British record holder Luke Cutts (Trevor Fox, The Dearne) goes up against training partner and British junior record holder Adam Hague (Fox, The Dearne). Further Sheffield interest will come from Mukhtar Mohammed (Sheffield RC), 800m silver medallist in 2013.
British Athletics Major Events Director Cherry Alexander said: “The Sainsbury’s British Indoor Championships are always one of the highlights of the year and we’re looking forward to seeing the country’s best athletes compete in Sheffield over the weekend.”
Councillor Isobel Bowler, cabinet member for culture, sport and leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: "For an eleventh year running, we are delighted to welcome some of the country's top athletes to Sheffield for the Indoor British Athletics Championships.
"EIS Sheffield being selected once again as the venue to host this prestigious event is yet more proof that the sporting facilities we have here in Sheffield are truly first-class. But it is important to stress that these facilities aren't just for the elite. Whatever their ability, people from across Sheffield are able to access fantastic venues such as EIS Sheffield, Ponds Forge and Hillsborough Leisure Centre to train, take part in fitness classes, play sports or swim with their families. That is something of which I am very proud.
“I also hope that having some of the country's top athletes competing at EIS Sheffield will act as an inspiration to youngsters to take up sport themselves, and make the most of the fantastic venues that Sheffield has to offer.”