Ahead of the Indoor British Championships at the EIS – Sheffield this weekend, Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (coach: Benke Blomkvist, Sutton & District), Tom Bosworth (Andi Drake, Tonbridge) and Isobel Pooley (Fuzz Caan, Aldershot Farnham & District) spoke to the media about their chances over the next two days of action.
Pooley finished third at the Glasgow Indoor Grand Prix last Saturday after a jump of 1.93m. With a place at the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland up for grabs, the 23 year-old will be looking for a top two finish to confirm her place on the team.
Pooley said: “The 1.93m proved I was in good shape which I knew all along but didn’t quite believe so in terms of self-belief, I am in a good place. The British Championships are always one of my favourite events; all the positives are there I just need to embrace it. The crowd are always warm and lovely here so I really can’t wait.”
The high jump will see Pooley take on double world junior champion Morgan Lake (Eldon Lake, WSEH) which will entertain the crowds on Saturday at 15:40 and she is looking forward to going up against Lake once again.
“To win and gain automatic selection (for the IAAF World Indoor Championships) would be absolutely wonderful. To go and represent my country in Portland when I’m in the best shape of my life would be an absolute honour and is the clear target for the indoor season.”
Aikines-Aryeetey last competed at a major indoor championship at the Europeans in Sopot in 2013 and he is looking forward to competing over 60m against the likes of British lead Sean Safo Antwi (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo, Enfield & Haringey) and European 100m champion James Dasaolu (Steve Fudge, Croydon).
The European 100m bronze medallist said ahead of the 60m: “Indoors is always fun – at the British Championships both indoors and outdoors, it is always special to be crowned champion. To get a chance to do a championship and go through the rounds doesn’t happen very often. It will be a good springboard towards the Rio Olympic Games this summer which is the big focus for me.”
Bosworth has enjoyed rapid improvement over the last couple of years setting British walk records over a number of distances including 3000m which he will take part in on Sunday at 13:35.
Bosworth commented: “I’d like to defend my title. I hold the 3000m indoor record and I’d like to try and challenge that. Indoors is good to spin the legs out and get some practise. It is about putting everything together for these championships – you want to be in the best shape for the British Championships because it means a lot. This will move me onto the outdoor season hopefully with a win and another British record.
On the competition he will face in Sheffield: “A couple of junior athletes have moved to Leeds to train with me. They can shift it over the short distances and 3000m is not my speciality, 20km is. They could be close to my shoulder if I’m not careful.”
Bosworth added: “Competing in front of a home crowd is always great. I love hyping it up and making a spectacle of the walks. I think once people watch the walks, they really get into it.”
Other highlights this weekend include Dina Asher-Smith (John Blackie, Blackheath & Bromley) and Asha Philip (Steve Fudge, Newham & Essex Beagles) going head to head in the women’s 60m, 2.36m high jumper Chris Baker (Sharon Heveran, Sale Manchester Harriers) taking on the likes of Olympic bronze medallist Robbie Grabarz (Caan, Newham & Essex Beagles) and IAAF World Indoor Tour winner Lorraine Ugen (Shawn Jackson, Blackheath & Bromley) going in the women’s long jump.
Every event on both days of the championships will be shown live on the British Athletics YouTube channel, with a dedicated stream also being provided for field events.
Live commentary and in-depth analysis will be provided by John Rawling, Olympic and World heptathlon medallist Kelly Sotherton, European 110m hurdles gold medallist Andy Turner and Beijing 2015 World Championships bronze medallist Martyn Rooney.
For more information about the Indoor British Championships visit britishathletics.org.uk. To watch the Indoor British Championships live, please go to BritishAthleticsTV.