Tiffany Porter (coach: Rana Reider), Holly Bleasdale (Scott Simpson) and Jenny Meadows (Trevor Painter) have all confirmed that they will compete at the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match on Saturday 25 January. After winning IAAF World Championship bronze in the 100m hurdles in Moscow, Porter will head to the Emirates Arena full of confidence as she looks to better her British indoor record of 7.80 in 2014. “Medalling in Moscow was definitely the highlight of 2013 for me. Given the competition in the event at the moment, I was over the moon to come away with a bronze medal and a personal best.
“However, I’m already focused on 2014 and opening my international competitive season with the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match in January. I’m sure the home crowd will be there to get behind the Scottish athletes before the Commonwealth Games, and I know I’ll have to be at my very best to come away with maximum points for GB & NI.”
Not content with her two medals last year, the 26 year old has set her sights on medalling at three major championships in 2014. “This year there are three podiums that I would like to visit - World Indoors, European Championships and, of course, the Commonwealth Games," added the reigning World Indoor silver medallist.
Bleasdale, who leapt to pole vault gold at the European Indoor Championships in March missed the entire outdoor season through injury, but returned to action last month with a 4.61m clearance in Villeurbaune, France. After a period of six months on the sidelines, the 22 year old is looking forward to getting her indoor season underway in Glasgow.
It was great to get back to competing following a long spell away from the runway. It was a strong start and I feel I’m in good shape ready for the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match at the end of January, an event in which I won last year.”
2014 promises to be another big year for the Cardiff-based athlete and Bleasdale knows that she has to be at her very best to put herself in contention with the world’s best in 2014. Despite Olympic champion Jenn Suhr clearing a world indoor record of 5.02m in March last year and four Europeans going beyond her outdoor personal best in 2013, Bleasdale is confident of putting herself in medal contention next year.
“Pole vault is one of the strongest events on the circuit at the moment and I know that I will have to be jumping over 4.70m to put myself in contention for a medal at the World Indoors, European Championships or Commonwealth Games. I know that I am capable of competing with the best and I feel there are no limits to how high I can go, it’s just about getting that performance right on the day,” added Bleasdale, who boasts an indoor personal best of 4.87m.
Meadows is another athlete on the comeback trail after injuries have restricted her to just a handful of appearances over the last two years. However, the 800m star believes that the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match presents the ideal opportunity to get back to the form that saw her take European Indoor gold in 2011.
“2013 was another tough year for me, but the injuries have made me more determined to come back and show that I’m still a force to be reckoned with on the world stage. Glasgow will give me a gauge of where I am in relation to my competition and I’m determined to go out there and put in a solid performance for GB & NI,” said the 33 year old, who has recorded three victories from her previous eight appearances at the meet.
“To have the opportunity to go up against a world-class field so early on in the season will help me build towards the major championships in 2014. Having been so close to a medal in Gothenburg earlier this year, my focus is on getting on the podium at the World Indoors.”
GB & NI teammate Proctor is targeting medal success next year and believes that with a few slight adjustments, she can make the step up to the major medals in both the indoors and outdoors.
“I’m looking for a big year in 2014 and the Sainsbury’s Glasgow International Match will provide the perfect springboard for the World Indoors and the outdoor season.
“I competed at this meet in 2012, but I’m really looking forward to getting familiar with the surroundings and the atmosphere ahead of the Commonwealth Games. My goal this year is to get amongst the medals, and feel that if I can jump to my potential, I have the capability of beating anyone. I’m edging closer and closer to the seven metre mark and believe that with a tweak here and there, I can make that small jump.”
Porter, Bleasdale, Meadows and Proctor will join Olympic medallists Greg Rutherford (Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) and Robbie Grabarz (Fuzz Ahmed) at the Emirates Arena along with T44 100m rivals Jonnie Peacock (Steve Fudge) and USA’s Richard Browne, European Indoor 60m silver medallist James Dasaolu (Fudge), 2003 world 100m champion Kim Collins, world 4x400m relay bronze medallist Eilidh Child (Malcolm Arnold), European U23 1500m bronze medallist Laura Muir (Andy Young), world 1500m finalist Chris O’Hare (Steve Gulley) and Paralympic silver medallists Libby Clegg (Keith Antoine) and Steph Reid (Reider).
Tickets for the Glasgow British Athletics International Match are on sale at britishathletics.org.uk