Glasgow, Scotland
Saturday 28th January 2012
After a brief stop-off at home in Edinburgh, I arrived up in Glasgow on Friday in preparation for today's Aviva International Indoor match at Kelvin Hall.  The Glasgow event is traditionally the first major date in the British indoor athletics calendar & this year saw Team GB pit its skills against Team USA, Team Russia, Team Germany & a Commonwealth Select Team.

It is the first real opportunity for the athletes themselves to evaluate how their pre-season training has gone & provides a marker for the rest of the indoor season, whilst for Team GB, today is the first event of a year that will see the spotlight pointed firmly in our direction.  The selection had combined a selection of experienced campaigners & those inexperienced at the international representative level, with the inclusions of World Champion Mo Farah & World Medallists Hannah England & Yamile Aldama signalling our intent.  Captain, Helen Clitheroe addressed the team this morning after Head Coach, Charles van Commennee, had set the scene for the day's contest, identifying the aims & goals he wanted us to achieve & with the words fresh in our ears, we made our final preparations to leave the hotel.

Kelvin Hall was built in 1930 & is a quirky but atmospheric arena.  For the athletes, the oval is an odd shape, being slightly squared at the ends & steeply banked on the corners.  For the spectators, the venue is intimate & gives a good opportunity to be up close & personal with the competitors, so the noise generated by just over 3,000 people is disproportionately loud.  For the medical team, consisting of myself, Doc Rob Chakraverty & Neil Black, the day passed without too much event & rather fortunately (& unusually for us) we were camped out in the warmest area of the building, complete with television screens to keep an eye on the action whilst we were treating.

After a slow start, Team GB rallied around winning performances from Joe Thomas (800m) in the middle distance, Yamile Aldama (triple jump) in the sand, in addition to Danny Talbot (200m), Mark Lewis-Francis (60m), Margaret Adeoye (200m) & Jeanette Kwakye (60m) who achieved maximum points in the flat sprints events.  These results set up Mo Farah to take the team home in first place with a season's best & venue best performance in the 1,500m, as he beat Kenyan Augustine Choge (last year's fastest miler) in a time of 3'39"03.  Given that the new, purpose built arena sited across the water will host future events, Mo's time was a fitting farewell to a venue steeped in indoor athletics history.  

For a full review of the day's events, click below to visit the UK Athletics website:

For a full breakdown of the day's results, click below to UK Athletics results page:

In summary, as I spoke to Charles later, he was obviously thrilled by the performances of the younger team members such as Joe, Danny & Margaret, whilst the showings of the more established team members such as Mo, Mark, Jeanette & Yamile consolidated the positive feel in the camp & which led to an overall Team GB victory.

Well done guys!!!


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