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London 2012 hopefuls compete in Erfurt


Great Britain
[09.07.2005] Great Britain is sending a team of 50 athletes (29 men and 21 women) to the European Athletics Under 23 Championships in Erfurt, Germany, on 14-17 July. Many of these athletes should be the leading home performers when the Olympic Games take place in London in 2012.

British athletes will be going for Gold in both the menís and womenís 400m. In the menís event Robert Tobin heads the 2005 European Senior rankings with 45.01 seconds and has run nearly a second quicker than his closest Under 23 rival.

In the womenís one lap race, the talented Christine Ohuruogu, who comes from the area of London where the Games will take place in 2012, will be looking to improve on the Bronze medal she won at the 2003 European Junior Championships. Since than she has made huge progress, running a best of 50.50 last year and competing at the Athens Olympics.

Ohuruogu, together with Kim Wall and Lisa Miller, will form the nucleus of a strong 4x400m team. Wall and Miller were both part of the squad that took the Gold medal at the 2000 World Junior Championships. The menís 4x400m squad is also strong, with Tobin joined by Rhys Williams, the reigning European Junior 400m hurdles champion, as well as Richard Davenport and Gareth Warburton, who were part of the team that took the Silver medal at this yearís European Athletics Indoor Championships.

Britainís best hopes in the menís distance events lie with Mohamed Farah in the 5000m. Farah was the European Junior champion in 2001, took the Silver medal in the last European Athletics U23 Championships in 2003 and is also starting to make his mark as a senior. He finished second in the 3000m at the recent SPAR European Cup and sixth at the 2005 European Athletics Indoor Championships. His recent clocking of 13:30.53 is 16 seconds fastest than any other European Under 23 this year.

In the womenís distance events there are a number of talented athletes seeking to follow in the footsteps of Kelly Holmes and Paula Radcliffe. They include Jemma Simpson in the 800m, who was a Bronze medallist at the 2003 European Athletics Junior Championships, and Lisa Dobriskey in the 1500m, the Silver medallist at the U23 Championships in 2003.

Jonathan Moore will compete in long jump and triple jump. He is an extremely talented jumper who was World Youth champion and European Juniors Silver medallist at triple jump in 2001 and in 2002 jumped over 8 metres for the first time in the long jump. He subsequently suffered a serious knee injury and is on his way back to his best form. (el/EAA)