McConnell homes in on Scottish title at Emirates Arena
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McConnell homes in on Scottish title at Emirates Arena

Three-times Olympian Lee McConnell leads the cast list for the scottishathletics McCain Senior Indoor Championships on Sunday.

The Emirates Arena in Glasgow is the venue for the latest event in our indoor series this winter and entries are up once again.

There are around 200 athletes on the start-list with each doubtless striving for gold, medals, a final place or a PB performance at the new £113m stadium in Glasgow’s East End.

McConnell competed there at 200m for the Commonwealth Select in the British International Match in January and will be back to contest the same distance on Sunday.

And scottishathletics chief executive, Nigel Holl, knows it is a day which will mean much to so many from the moment they enter the call room.

‘The Emirates Arena starts to feel like home to me already,’ he said.

‘We have been fortunate to experience some excellent athletics here this winter and I expect much more of the same on Sunday.

‘We’ve had busy days (National Indoor Open), top quality days (British Athletics International), record breaking days (quite a few – well done athletes!) and now serious championship days. Our senior Championships is a serious day – National titles and respect is very much at stake.

‘My thanks to those involved in the pre-event organisation or helping out on the day. Whether you are competing, working, helping, officiating or watching – enjoy the experience and be inspired by the quality  of the environment and facilities.

‘I’d like to express my thanks also to Glasgow Life and the management team at the Emirates Arena, to McCain for supporting this event, and to the numerous volunteers and staff who work very hard behind the scenes to make such event happen.’

Beth Finlayson looks best-placed to challenge McConnell with the Olympian of course more often competing at 400m than one lap of the indoor track at the new venue.

In the 800m, Kathryn Evans should fancy her chances of a Scottish title with the best PB of those likely to be in attendance. Her opposition could include Emma Leask from Guernsey.

One of the most interesting competitions among the women could well be the long jump.

Scottish record holder, Jade Nimmo, has ‘dipped her toe’ in Combined Events this winter and that was rewarded with victory in our national championships last weekend.

As Jade was in action in Glasgow, Edinburgh AC’s Sarah Warnock and Lisa Ferguson were involved in the UK Champs in Sheffield – with Warnock landing a big PB at 6.16m in her final jump to claim a bronze medal.

All three are due to compete on Sunday and that could mean a really intense long jump competition with 6.20m the mark set for Glasgow 2014 (although of course the qualifying period is not open until April 1).

In the Men’s events, the likes of Ryan Oswald, Stephen Dunlop and Anthony Young could well feature among the sprint medals at 60m and 200m while Jamie Bowie will be among the favourites – along with Young, David Martin and Greg Louden – in the 400m.

Graeme Oudney is among those chasing the title in the 800m with the Dundee Hawkhill athlete having tweeted the other day that it is 15 years since he won his first age group title with scottishathletics. He faces opposition for another one from Grant Muir, Jack Walker and Central AC pair Sean Reilly and Attila Emmer.

In the long jump, Allan Hamilton faces a challenge from Newham and Essex’s Chris Kirk while in triple jump it will be interesting to gauge the performances of Joseph Amouzo and Mahad Ahmed from Glasgow School of Sport. Ray Bobrownicki looks clear favourite in the high jump.
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