Robbie Grabarz to Captain British Team at the Glasgow International


Jane Cowmeadow

Olympic bronze medallist and European high jump champion Robbie Grabarz (coach: Fayyaz Ahmed) will captain a talented British team at the British Athletics Glasgow International Match at the Emirates Arena on Saturday as they target their eleventh win in the fixture.

The Brits will go head-to-head with teams from the USA, Germany, Russia and the Commonwealth, and Grabarz will be joined by former European Indoor 60m champion Dwain Chambers (Rana Reider); Olympic 800m finalist and World Indoor bronze medallist Andrew Osagie (Craig Winrow); World Indoor triple jump champion Yamile Aldama (Frank Attoh); British pole vault record holder Holly Bleasdale (Dan Pfaff, Scott Simpson); World Indoor 4x400m champion Perri Shakes-Drayton (Chris Zah); as well as a host of established internationals and upcoming youngsters.

Peter Eriksson, UKA’s Olympic Head Coach, believes that the British Athletics Glasgow International Match is an important event for British athletes.

“It’s a great way to start the indoor season and I’m really excited about seeing British athletes competing on the track again after the winter break.

“After such a successful 2012 it’s really important that we keep the momentum going as we head for the World Championships in Moscow this summer, and the international format in Glasgow means that we’re able to come together as a team and continue to progress.”

Captain Grabarz is relishing the challenge of leading the British team for the first time but admits he was a little surprised when he got the call from Eriksson,

“It’s an honour to captain your country and when I first got call from Peter (Eriksson), it was a bit of a shock, I thought I’d done something wrong! But as soon as he told me, I was over the moon. Hopefully I can inspire everyone to run and jump to some good performances.

“I think with good team spirit combined with a relaxed approach, we’ll see some good performances out there in Glasgow this weekend.”

London Olympians Conrad Williams and Margaret Adeoye (Linford Christie), victorious in Glasgow in 2012, will line up in the 200m while Nigel Levine (Linford Christie), a World Indoor 4x400m silver medallist last March, tackles two laps of the track in the 400m.

Olympic semi-finalist Lynsey Sharp (Terrence Mahon) will compete again over 800m and 19 year olds Charlie Grice (Jon Bigg) while Laura Muir (Andy Young) will both make their senior British debuts in the 1500m and heptathlon specialist Dominique Blaize (Julie Hollman) focuses on the long jump in front of a 5,000 sell-out crowd in Glasgow.

Andy Vernon (Nic Bideau), who was first at the McCain Cardiff Cross Challenge on Sunday, will return indoors to run over 3000m, whilst former European Under-23 silver medallist Gianni Frankis (Tony Jarrett) and 33 year old Sarah Claxton (Martey Newman) will compete in the 60m hurdles.

And a brand new arena is not the only first at the event, as the 5000 capacity crowd will witness history being made as some of the Britain’s top Paralympians compete at the event for the very first time.

Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine), who won silver in the T12 100m in London, will headline the T11/12 60m event in Glasgow and Stef Reid (Keith Antoine), who won Paralympic silver in the F44 long jump, will compete in a competitive F44/46 long jump field.

Paula Dunn, UKA’s Paralympic Head Coach, is keen for Britain’s Paralympians to continue progressing when they line up in Glasgow.