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Will Sharman jumping a hurdle

Big weekend for Loughborough's Olympic hopes

21 June 2012

A host of Loughborough University athletes will be in Birmingham this weekend for the Aviva 2012 Trials as competition for places in Team GB team for the Olympics hots up.

One of the most eagerly awaited events will be the 100m metres where Loughborough pair James Dasaolu and Harry Aikines Aryeetey will be up against Britain’s fastest man this year, Adam Gemili, at the Alexander Stadium.

Both will be aiming for an Olympic spot, as will other Loughborough athletes like Britain’s No.1 400m runner Martyn Rooney, Nick McCormick (5000m), Nathan Woodward (400m hurdles), Lisa Dobriskey (1500m) and Will Sharman (110m hurdles).

Nick Dakin, Loughborough University’s director of athletics, is hoping they all do themselves justice on what is a ‘big weekend’ for them.

He said: “You probably get a chance of two, maybe three Olympics in your career, and the Olympics will probably define what you want to achieve out of the sport.

“This is a big weekend. Martyn Rooney is the British number one at 400m but a couple of other guys have stepped it up, so the 400 metres is looking far more competitive now than at the start of the season.

“Nick McCormick stands a reasonable chance in the 5000 metres. I believe that Chris Thompson, another Alumni of ours, who also has an A standard, has had to withdraw.

“There are four guys with the A standard and two are no longer competing in the trial. In fact that’s probably three because I think Mo Farah is running in the 1500.

“If Nick finishes in the top two he will pretty much rubber stamp his place.

“Nathan Woodward is running in one of the most competitive events, the 400 metres hurdles. He is one of five guys to have the A standard, and there are one or two just outside, including World champion Dai Green. So that will be a ferocious event.

“James Dasaolu is one of two 100 metres runners who have got the A standard this season. It will be fractions of seconds, certainly in the sprints, which determine whether people make it or not.

“Harry has not run a time this year but has run sufficiently fast in the couple of seasons before this and has got the ability to do it.

“Lisa has started racing again having had an interrupted preparation going into the trials.

“But she is a great championship performer and has done it from a similar position on a couple of occasions in the past. She is a possibility.

"Will Sharman is another in a highly competitive event. He was fifth in the world last year and there are three other guys with the A standard. It’s going to be an exciting championship.

“Getting onto the team is one of the hardest things, and once you have got there you have to do yourself justice.

“A lot of hard work has gone into this, so you want to make the most of your opportunity.”

Two places in most events will be decided this weekend but the selectors will still have a discretionary third pick.

Dakin said: “Nothing is boxed off this weekend, but the best way of automatically cementing your place is to finish in the top two with an A standard.”

All the above athletes except Rooney have been chosen for the Aviva Great Britain and Northern Ireland team for the European Championships in Helsinki between Wednesday June 27 and Sunday July 1. But if they make the Olympic team they will be de-selected.

Other Loughborough-based athletes in the team include Sophie Hitchon (hammer), Meghan Beesley (400m hurdles), and Kate Dennison (pole vault).

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