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."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
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

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Developer - HTML, CSS, Javascript

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Graduate UI Application Developer - ...

Ashdown Group: B2B Marketing Manager - Events, Digital, Offline

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: B2B Marketing Manager (Events, Digit...

Guru Careers: Senior Account Manager / SAM

£30 - 35k: Guru Careers: A Senior Account Manager / SAM is needed to join the ...

Day In a Page

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?
Season's finale brings the end of an era for top coaches and players across the continent

The end of an era across the continent

It's time to say farewell to Klopp, Clement, Casillas and Xavi this weekend as they move on to pastures new, reports Pete Jenson
Bin Laden documents released: Papers reveal his obsession with attacking the US and how his failure to keep up with modern jihad led to Isis

'Focus on killing American people'

Released Bin Laden documents reveal obsession with attacking United States
Life hacks: The innovations of volunteers and medical workers are helping Medécins Sans Frontières save people around the world

Medécins Sans Frontières's life hacks

The innovations of volunteers and medical workers around the world are helping the charity save people
Ireland's same-sex marriage vote: As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?

Same-sex marriage

As date looms, the Irish ask - how would God vote?
The underworld is going freelance: Why The Godfather's Mafia model is no longer viable

The Mafia is going freelance

Why the underworld model depicted in The Godfather is no longer viable