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12 May 2011 | PR 11/54

Top athletes return for annual Loughborough International event

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Some of the country’s top athletes will be in action at Loughborough University on Sunday 22 May, to compete in the legendary Loughborough International Athletics (LIA) event.

Now in its 53rd year, the LIA has seen many of the UK’s best athletes’ grace its start lists since the competition began in 1958.

With only 14 months to the start of the London 2012 Games, 2011 will be a crucial year for the athletes, who will be looking to secure places for the IAAF World Championships taking place in Daegu, Korea in August and September.

One of the highlights of the match will be Olympic gold medallist Mark Lewis-Francis taking on Loughborough based sprinters James Desalou, Craig Pickering and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey in the men’s 100 metres.

All will be pushing each other hard and aiming to break through 10 second barrier, following on from James Desalou’s 10.06 time recorded last year.

Highlights in the field include World and European Champion Jessica Ennis, who is scheduled to compete in two events. Loughborough graduate and World and Paralympic Champion, Dan Greaves, will be taking part in the discus.

Jessica Ennis, who competed at the event last year, said:

“I like the Loughborough International Athletics event and have had some really great results and performances.  It really marks the start to the athletic season for me. The crowd is great and always get behind the athletes. There was a great atmosphere in the high jump last year with the big crowd on the grass bank just adding to the occasion.”

Back on the track the climax will see an intriguing battle in the relay events, with Loughborough based Beijing 2008 Olympian Martyn Rooney running in the men’s 4x400 relay.

Martyn Rooney, looking forward to the event, said:

“This will be my sixth appearance at the LIA, an event that I always look forward to as I expect to run a fast time on my home track.  The relay should be a great race and will be a chance to put down a marker early in the season in order to try and book a place for this year’s World Championships.”

The format of the match will see the Loughborough past and present squad take on representative teams from England, Wales, GB Juniors, Scotland and a British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Select.

The gates at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium open at 9.30am, with the first event starting at 11.00am.

Tickets for this event are available on the day and are priced at £7 for adults and £5 for concessions (Under 16's and Students).

Alternatively tickets can be purchased in advance at the Loughborough University online store (£7 adults and £4 concessions), at:  https://store.lboro.ac.uk/

For further information about the event, including the timetable, click on:

http://www.loughboroughathletics.com/fixtures.html

−ENDS−

For all media enquiries contact:

Rob Knott
PR Officer (Sport)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 228686
E: R.A.Knott@lboro.ac.uk 

Notes for editors:

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2010 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has topped the Times Higher Education league for the UK’s Best Student Experience every year since the poll's inception in 2006. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

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.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 19 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

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This page was last updated on Wednesday September 21, 2011 10:46