ATHLETICS: Collins eager to take on best of British

KIM COLLINS, the world and Commonwealth 100 metres champion, will take on Britain's Jason Gardener and Mark Lewis-Francis in the Norwich Union Grand Prix on 18 February at Birmingham's National Indoor Arena.

The St Kitts and Nevis athlete will also be challenging Maurice Greene, of the United States, and Portugal's Francis Obikwelu in the best 60m field assembled in the world this year. It promises to be an enthralling battle in Birmingham where Collins last competed two years ago when finishing runner-up in the World Indoor Championships.

"I'm looking forward to competing against such a strong field," Collins said. "Jason Gardener and Mark Lewis-Francis are Olympic gold medallists now and I'm sure they'll be aiming to win in front of their home supporters."

A leading sprint coach believes Gardener is right to feel he can smash the world indoor 60m record. Gardener said last month that although retaining his European indoor title remains his priority this winter, he also believes he has the ability to target Maurice Greene's global mark.

John Smith, who will be the United States head coach at this year's world outdoor championships, said: "Jason Gardener is probably one of the greatest indoor runners around."

Gardener is chasing a third successive European title in Madrid next month, but Smith added a note of caution about the Olympic 4x100m gold medallist's ambitions. "Maurice is a fierce competitor," said Smith, who coached Greene to the 2000 Olympic and three successive world 100m titles. "It will be a nice race [in Birmingham] and I'm really looking forward to it. Jason has the ability to break the world record."

Smith added: "It will be a tough test and will require some real interesting running. Maurice is training hard. But whether either can go that fast remains to be seen. Conditions and the attitude have to be right."

Sonia O'Sullivan yesterday confirmed she will look to regain her title in April's Great Bupa Ireland Run. The 35-year-old Irishwoman has entered the 9 April race at Dublin's Phoenix Park, as has her countryman Mark Carroll. For Carroll, the Irish record holder at three kilometres, 5km and 10km, it will be his debut in the mass participation 10km race.

But the challenge for O'Sullivan is to win the title which was won last year by Catherina McKiernan, who has since retired. "I understand she's had a solid winter's training down in Australia after recovering from a minor injury," said the race director, Matthew Turnbull. "Now it's a case of getting some other top women into the race."

Carroll has stepped up his form in recent weeks and in late January scored an impressive 3,000m victory over the leading American Alan Webb in Boston. Carroll will be facing stiff competition from the Australian Craig Mottram, winner in Dublin for the last two years.

Turnbull said: "Mottram's eager to complete a hat-trick. A great race is on the cards."

Life and Style
love + sex A new study has revealed the average size - but does that leave men outside the 'normal' range being thought of as 'abnormal'?
Voices
The Palace of Westminster is falling down, according to John Bercow
voices..says Matthew Norman
Sport
Steve Bruce and Gus Poyet clash
football
Arts and Entertainment
Jake and Dinos Chapman were motivated by revenge to make 'Bring me the Head of Franco Toselli! '
arts + ents Shapero Modern Gallery to show explicit Chapman Brothers film
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Kurt Cobain performing for 'MTV Unplugged' in New York, shortly before his death
music Brett Morgen's 'Cobain: Montage of Heck' debunks many of the myths surrounding the enigmatic singer
Sport
Brendan Rodgers
football The Liverpool manager will be the first option after Pep Guardiola
Life and Style
life
Sport
Christian Benteke of Aston Villa celebrates scoring the winner for Aston Villa
football
Arts and Entertainment
Myanna Buring, Julian Rhind-Tutt and Russell Tovey in 'Banished'
TV Jimmy McGovern tackles 18th-century crime and punishment
Arts and Entertainment
Paul Whitehouse as Herbert
arts + ents
News
Bill O'Reilly attends The Hollywood Reporter 35 Most Powerful People In Media Celebration at The Four Seasons Restaurant on April 16, 2014 in New York City
media It is the second time he and the channel have clarified statements
News
people
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Lettings and Sales Negotiator - OTE £46,000

£16000 - £46000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join ...

Recruitment Genius: Home Care Worker - Reading and Surrounding Areas

£9 - £13 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity to join a s...

Recruitment Genius: Key Sales Account Manager - OTE £35,000

£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Have you got a proven track rec...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - OTE £40,000

£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a great opportunity for...

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn