Athletics: Hansen set to renew rivalry

David Martin
Friday 10 January 2003 01:00
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Ashia Hansen will face the woman she deprived of a Commonwealth Games triumph in Birmingham next month. The Birchfield Harrier will jump against Cameroon's Françoise Mbango at the Norwich Union Grand Prix on 21 February at the National Indoor Arena.

Mbango was denied a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester last year when Hansen claimed the title with her last jump.

"I can't pretend that what happened in Manchester didn't hurt me, but that is sport," Mbango said. "You have to pick yourself up and come back for more and Ashia will be in for a battle when we meet in Birmingham.

"I can't wait for the chance to compete against her again – she is a top-class athlete."

The African champion will provide the toughest of opponents as Hansen prepares for the World Indoor Championships, also at the NIA from 14 to 16 March.

Raymond Kipkoech has been added to the London Marathon field on 13 April. The Kenyan, who is ranked seventh in the world, earned an invitation after an unexpected victory in Berlin last September.

Constantina Dita-Tomescu, of Romania, the Amsterdam runner-up last year, will challenge Britain's Paula Radcliffe, the holder, in the women's London Marathon.

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