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Farah to defend his Euro title

Following an exciting domestic indoor season, UKA today named defending title holders Mo Farah and Dwain Chambers in the 32-strong Aviva GB&NI team which will travel to Paris, France for the European Indoor Championships to be held on 4-6 March.

Mo Farah

Mo Farah

Unsurprisingly, newly crowned 5000m British record holder Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) will return to defend his 3000m title won in Turin in 2009. Farah set a new European record and broke the long standing British record – which was held for 29 years by Nick Rose- at the Aviva Grand Prix at Birmingham’s NIA in 13:10.60.

Dwain Chambers will also revisit the competition in a bid to defend his sprint title and continue his indoor dominance which has been consolidated with European and World indoors 60m victories over the past two years.

He said: “I have worked hard over the winter and am in better condition than last year. It’s always an honour to compete for my country and I will always try and perform to the best of my ability. There will be many good athletes competing in Paris, not least of all the other British athletes, but if I stay healthy and focussed I must stand as good a chance any other athlete.”

Chambers is joined by Harry Aikines Aryeetey (coach: Michael Khmel) and debutant Joel Fearon (coach: Michael Khmel), who makes his first Aviva GB&NI appearance following a sudden rise to prominence which sees him sitting in fourth place in the European 2011 indoor rankings.

Looking to maintain her international medal haul just 17 months away from London 2012, Jessica Ennis (coach: Toni Minichiello) will step out in the pentathlon.

Announcing the Aviva GB&NI team, which was predicted to be a smaller team due to the late scheduling of the Commonwealth Games and elongated outdoor season, Head Coach Charles van Commenee said: “This is a strong team which can realistically challenge for medals and top eight finishes, and I expect just that given the mix of experience and potential within the line-up.

“I am especially happy with the fact that ten out of the 32 athletes make their first senior appearance. Of course I expect the world class guys to win medals, but I am also interested to see the debutants in action. I encourage them to take this opportunity to immediately make an impact at a high level; they are good enough to do so by making the tough qualification standards.”

Newcomers include Jodie Williams (coach: Mike McFarlane), the consistently impressive 17 year old who has a double sprint World Youth and 100m World Junior title to her name, and Robbie Grabarz (coach: Fuzz Ahmed), who made encouraging advancements towards the end of the 2010 outdoor season which continued into early 2011.

Williams said: “I’m really excited to be in the team, my hard work through the winter has paid off. Taking the step up to seniors is quite scary, it’s going to be a good experience and a learning curve but I feel like I’m ready.“

Tiffany Ofili (coach: James Henry/Arnett Chisholm) will cement her switch from USA to GB&NI representation with an outing in the 60m hurdles, while Kelly Massey (coach: Stephen Ball) gets her senior GB vest four months after earning a relay silver medal at the Commonwealth Games.

Helen Clitheroe (coach: John Nuttall), who heads up the GB all time list for 3000m steeple chase, has been named captain. Duties include delivering the captains speech at the team meeting, which has become an important tradition since van Commenee’s appointment.

She said: “I’m so proud to be asked to be captain for the Aviva GB&NI team in Paris. I’ve been running at senior GB level for 13 years so I have plenty of experience to pass onto the rest of the athletes. We have a great team and this competition is a perfect springboard onto the rest of the 2011 season.”

Chosen for the position due to her long and impressive career, wealth of experience and expertise, she found a new lease of life recently, building on altitude training in Kenya to set a new lifetime best and leading European performance over 3000m in Birmingham.

Regular faces amongst the Aviva GB&NI team and returning to action in Paris are Jenny Meadows (coach: Trevor Painter), sure to make waves in the 800m and contest a medal, Tom Parsons (coach: Fuzz Ahmed) who astonished crowds at the Aviva Trials and UK Championships with a 2.31m clearance and close 2.35m attempt and Kelly Sotherton (coach: Aston Moore), in her new role as a 400m athlete.




Harry Aikines Aryeetey (coach: Michael Khmel) Sutton; Dwain Chambers (coach: self coached) Belgrave Harriers; Joel Fearon (coach: Michael Khmel) Birchfield Harriers


Richard Buck (coach: Steve Fudge) City of York; Nigel Levine (Coach: Simon Duberley) Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow; Richard Strachan (coach: Linford Christie) Trafford


Andrew Osagie (coach: Craig Winrow) Harlow AC; Joe Thomas (coach: Arwyn Davies) Cardiff


Nick McCormick (coach: Lindsay Dunn) Morpeth Harriers; Colin McCourt (coach: Craig Winrow) unattached


Andy Baddeley (coach: Andrew Hobdell) Harrow; Mo Farah (coach: Alberto Salazar) Newham & Essex Beagles

60m hurdles:

Lawrence Clarke (coach: Malcolm Arnold) Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow

High Jump:

Robbie Grabarz (Coach: Fuzz Ahmed) Newham & Essex Beagles; Tom Parsons (coach: Fuzz Ahmed) Birchfield Harriers

4x400m relay:

Buck; Nick Leavey (coach: Simon Duberley) Woodford Green & Essex Ladies; Luke Lennon- Ford (coach: Linford Christie) Birchfield Harriers; Levine; Strachan; Conrad Williams (coach: Linford Christie) Kent



Jodie Williams (coach: Mike McFarlane) Herts Phoenix; Bernice Wilson (coach: George Skafidas) Birchfield Harriers


Jenny Meadows (coach: Trevor Painter) Wigan AC; Marilyn Okoro (coach: Ayo Falola) Shaftesbury Barnet


Stacey Smith (coach: Mick Woods) Gateshead ; Hannah England (coach: Bud Baldaro) Oxford


Helen Clitheroe (Coach: John Nuttall) Preston Harriers

60m hurdles:

Tiffany Ofili (coach: James Henry / Arnett Chisholm)

Pole Vault:

Holly Bleasdale (coach: Julien Raffalli-Ebezant) Blackburn


Jessica Ennis (coach: Toni Minichiello) City of Sheffield

4 x 400m relay:

Kelly Massey (coach: Stephen Bell); Meadows; Lee McConnell (coach: Roger Harkins) Shaftesbury Barnet; Okoro; Kelly Sotherton (coach: Aston Moore) Birchfield Harriers; Laura Wake (coach: Nick Dakin) Herts Phoenix