Athletics: Gardener plans to make early point against domestic rivals

Not for the first time, the 60 metres event is likely to provide a major focus of attention at Glasgow's Kelvin Hall today as the domestic indoor season gets fully under way with the Norwich Union International meeting. And the man in the main frame is Jason Gardener.

The man who will seek a third European indoor title in Birmingham just over a month from now faces a testing challenge from two of his domestic rivals in a match featuring Britain, Germany, Sweden, the United States and a Commonwealth Select team.

His training partner at Bath, 20-year-old Craig Pickering, indicated his outstanding early season form last Saturday by recording a time of 6.56sec, the fastest run in the world so far this year. And the 31-year-old champion will also have to contend with Mark Lewis-Francis, who has been given a place in the Commonwealth team and is eager to stake his own claim as a contender to win the European title in his home city.

Francis who won Euro silver in 2002 and finished behind Gardener two years ago before being disqualified after testing positive for cannabis, will represent a Commonwealth Select side in the annual match also featuring teams from Great Britain, Germany, Sweden and the United States.

"I am looking forward to opening up my indoor season in Glasgow this weekend," he said. "It will give me the opportunity to see where I am at after the winter training. I am just back from warm weather training in South Africa.

"Overall I am very happy with how the past few months have gone. I feel fit and strong. My personal best for 60m is the world junior record of 6.51seconds. I would like to improve this time in 2007."

The domestic rivalry is due to continue a week today, when all three are booked to race in the Sparkassen Cup in Stuttgart.

Meanwhile the Commonwealth triple jump champion Phillips Idowu will be putting himself to the best possible test against world and Olympic champion Christian Olsson, who is part of a strong Swedish team that also includes Susanna Kallur, the European high hurdles champion, and world No 1 high jumper Kajsa Bergqvist.

Kelly Sotherton, Britain's Olympic bronze medallist and Commonwealth heptathlon champion, will test her early season form against both the latter athletes as she doubles up in the 60m hurdles and the high jump.

"I ran a personal best in the hurdles here last year and I'm hoping to beat that or at least match it," Sotherton said. "And I'm hoping to at least match my PB in the high jump."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Latest in Sport
Sport
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: Shopfitter

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity to join a successful an...

Recruitment Genius: Ecommerce Manager

£45000 - £55000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity is available to ...

Recruitment Genius: Customer Service / Administrator - Spanish Speaking

£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This world leading specialist i...

Recruitment Genius: Regional Support Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This role's responsibility also include operat...

Day In a Page

Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
10 best statement lightbulbs

10 best statement lightbulbs

Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

Dustin Brown

Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test
Tour de France 2015: Twins Simon and Adam Yates have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Twins have a mountain to climb during Tour of duty

Yates brothers will target the steepest sections in bid to win a stage in France
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy