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14 February 2008 PR 08/17

Loughborough pole-vaulters on form as athletes achieve World Indoor selection

Loughborough University’s pole-vaulters dominated proceedings at the Norwich Union World Trials and UK Championships in Sheffield last weekend as a trio of Loughborough-based athletes gained selection for the British team bound for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Valencia (Spain) next month.

British number one Steve Lewis secured World Championship selection and buoyed his University team mates with gold in a new stadium pole vault record of 5.61m and was closely followed by Scott Simpson for silver in a season’s best of 5.31m. In the women’s event Loughborough duo Kate Dennison and Louise Butterworth did the double with 4.25m and 4.15m (PB) respectively, proving the University’s dominance in this event.

Loughborough’s women also secured a one-two in the 3000m as Sydney Olympic finalist Helen Clitheroe went head to head with Commonwealth 1500m Champion Lisa Dobriskey to take gold and silver in 8:56.13 and 8:56.49 respectively. And in the men’s event, training partners Chris Warburton, last year’s 1500m winner, and Chris Parr placed 3rd and 4th in 8:20.40 and 8:20.68.

In the high jump Loughborough’s Stephanie Pywell achieved an indoor best of 1.85m for silver behind British heptathlete Jessica Ennis in a stadium record of 1.92m, while former Loughborough athlete Samson Oni has been named in Britain’s World Indoor team following his gold-winning performance in an Olympic qualifying height and new stadium record of 2.30m.

Loughborough graduate Becky Peake, who continues to train at the University’s world class athletics facilities, won silver in the shot with a distance of 15.67m. Fellow graduate Emeka Udechuku, who is now based in London, threw 18.06m for silver in the men’s event with current student Kieran Kelly not far behind for 4th with a distance of 17.83m.

In the triple jump, former Loughborough Sports Scholar Nathan Douglas finished second in 16.72m behind Commonwealth champion Philips Idowu (17.24m) and in the long jump current student JJ Jegede claimed bronze in 7.63m.

Loughborough graduate Charlotte Best set a new lifetime best of 4:16.61 for fourth in the 1500m, while current students Lewis Moses and Ben Green finished 6th and 8th in the men’s event in 3:48.97 and 3:49.90, the former a best for Moses.

Loughborough graduate and defending champion Sarah McGreavy claimed silver in 8.18s in the 60m hurdles and fellow alumni Dominic Girdler finished 5th in 7.85 in the men’s event.

There was disappointment for Loughborough sports scholar and World Junior Champion Harry Aikenes-Areetey who was disqualified for a false start in the 60m semi-final as well as Loughborough-based Canadian international Seyi Smith who was disqualified for running on the lane line after finishing 2nd in the 200m.

Meanwhile, Loughborough graduate Jeanette Kwayke’s 7.22s performance in the semi-finals of the 60m event were enough to earn her selection to the British indoor team, despite withdrawing through injury.

Also this week, Loughborough’s students were in touching distance of the Birmingham League cross-country title, but settled for second overall thanks to strong performances from Kevin Deighton (3rd), Tom Settle (11th), Mike Coltherd (14th), James Poole (17th), Frank Baddick (18th) and Shane Kerr (25th). Leicestershire’s Owls eventually took the title, in part thanks to ex-Loughborough College student Paul Richardson who claimed individual second position.

The following athletes in Britain’s World Indoor team currently train at or have previously been based at Loughborough University:

Men:
High Jump: Samson Oni (Belgrave Harriers) Former Loughborough athlete
Pole Vault: Steve Lewis (Newham & Essex Beagles) Loughborough-based

Women:
60m: Jeanette Kwakye (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies) Loughborough graduate
3000m: Helen Clitheroe (Preston Harriers) Loughborough-based
Pole Vault: Kate Dennison (Sale Harriers Manchester) Loughborough-based

The full list of the 21-strong first wave of athletes selected for the IAAF World Indoor Championships is as follows:

Men
60m: Dwain Chambers (Belgrave Harriers). 400m: Richard Buck (City of York), Steve Green (Newham & Essex Beagles). 800m: Richard Hill (Notts AC). 1500m: James McIlroy (WSE Hounslow). 60mH: Allan Scott (Shaftesbury Barnet). High Jump: Samson Oni (Belgrave Harriers). Pole Vault: Steve Lewis (Newham & Essex Beagles). Long Jump: Chris Tomlinson (Newham & Essex Beagles). Triple Jump: Phillips Idowu (Belgrave Harriers). Shot Put: Carl Myerscough (Blackpool). 4x400m Relay: Buck, Green.

Women
60m: Laura Turner (Harrow AC), Jeanette Kwakye (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies). 800m: Jenny Meadows (Wigan & District Harriers), Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnet). 1500m: Jemma Simpson (Newquay & Par), Susan Scott (City of Glasgow). 3000m: Helen Clitheroe (Preston Harriers). 60mH: Sarah Claxton (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies). Pole Vault: Kate Dennison (Sale Harriers Manchester). Pentathlon: Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers).

ENDS

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Notes for editors:

  1. The IAAF World Indoor Championships take place in Valencia, Spain, from 7-9 March 2008.
  2. A second wave of British athletes will be announced on Tuesday 26 February. For further information log onto http://www.ukathletics.net/
  3. Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry and unrivalled sporting achievement.

    It is a member of the esteemed 1994 Group – a set of internationally recognised, research intensive universities – and has a reputation for the relevance of its work. Its degree programmes are highly regarded by professional institutions and businesses, and its graduates are consistently targeted by the UK’s top recruiters.

    Loughborough is also the UK’s premier university for sport. It has perhaps the best integrated sports development environment in the world and is home to some of the country’s leading coaches, sports scientists and support staff. It also has the country’s largest concentration of world-class training facilities across a wide range of sports.

    In the 2007 National Student Survey, the University was voted fourth in the UK, with 23 out of 29 of Loughborough’s subject areas being ranked in the top ten for overall satisfaction. Loughborough is also ranked in the top fifteen of UK universities in national league tables. It was named winner of the 2006 and 2007 Times Higher award for the UK’s Best Student Experience and winner of the 2007 award for Outstanding Support for Overseas Students. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes – an achievement bettered by no other university.

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