Some of the UK’s finest performers compete shoulder to shoulder with local athletes at the Aviva Indoor UK Trials and Championships at Sheffield today and tomorrow.
Top of the EIS bill is the city’s own Jessica Ennis, who tackles four events, part of her build-up to the Paris European Indoors (March 4).
Ennis starts in the high jump where she should regain the title she won in 2007 and 2008. While she has yet to contest a high jump this year, her general form suggests she’s in shape to go over 1.90m and could challenge her best (1.95.) Barnsley’s Adele Lassu could be her closest challenger.
Next is the shot. She won’t win this title but, having improved her personal best to 14.61m this year, will try to consolidate.
Tomorrow, she starts in the long jump, aiming to beat her indoor best of 6.44m. Finally, she does the 60m hurdles where she could threaten her own UK record (7.95 secs). Sheffield athletes Sam Ellis and Mukhter Mohammed clash in the 800m. Mohammed has already clocked 1:50.39 this year whilst Ellis ran a good 600m relay leg last weekend. Steve Evison (Sheffield) and Rhian Hastey (Rotherham) also take part.
Luke Cutts (Dearne ALC/Sheffield) challenges UK number 1 Steve Lewis in the pole vault. Jamie Williamson, who threw 17.55m last week, is a leading contender in the shot.
Also competing are Sheffield’s Ricky Reeves (60m), Matt Quine (400m and Liam Ramsay (hurdles.
All eyes are on 60m sprinter Dwain Chambers. who defends the British title he won here last year. He could get near the 6.48 secs he ran then. He’ll be pushed by Mark Lewis Francis.
Pocket rocket Jenny Meadows competes in the 400m, as does former Commonwealth heptathlon champion Kelly Sotherton.