SPIKES tells you everything you need to know about Saturday’s big meet.
Jet set: the second fastest woman in history, Carmelita Jeter, will run the 60m race in Glasgow
What’s this? Live athletics?
Yes, it’s back! Your 2013 starts right here, in the form of the annual Glasgow International Match, THIS Saturday (26th January).
Is it being hosted at the usual place?
No. Glasgow is getting a lick of paint for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, so after 21 years at Kelvin Hall the meet is moving to the shiny new multi-purpose 5,000-seat Emirates Arena, just across the road from Celtic’s football stadium.
How many events are there?
There’s a packed schedule, with 21 events in 17 disciplines, including four disability athletics races, all in just over three hours.
And what does the ‘Match’ bit mean?
Teams of athletes from the UK, USA, Russia and Germany all compete for points, along with other athletes that form a ‘Commonwealth team’. Points are awarded according to the athlete’s placing, and the totals are added together to determine the overall winners.
So who’s going to win?
Well, Britain won last year, and in 2010, and you can’t ignore the home advantage factor for the British team. However Germany took the title in 2011 and you can never rule out the talented USA and Russian teams…
Are you fence-sitting? Will there be hurdles?
Yes, on both counts. European 110m hurdles champion Sergey Shubenkov will be hoping to put points on the board for Russia in the men’s 60m hurdles at 1.41pm, and world 100m hurdles silver medallist Danielle Carruthers will be hoping to do the same for Team USA in the women’s race at 1.51pm.
Any Olympic medallists on show?
You bet there is. Olympic 800m bronze medallist Ekaterina Poistogova of Russia will be taking on Kenyan Winny Chebet, European silver medalist Lynsey Sharp and the USA’s Geena Gall over four laps of the track at 2.01pm.
From 2.46pm, expect a men’s high jump battle that could go on and on in 2013. European champion, Olympic bronze medallist and British team captain Robbie Grabarz will be hoping to out-leap Russian world silver medallist Aleksey Dmitri, and from 3.34pm you’ll get the chance to see one of Russia’s most popular athletes: European indoor long jump champion Darya Klishina.
Captain Grabarz: Robbie Grabarz will captain the British team
Britain’s two best female 400m hurdlers, Perri Shakes-Drayton and Eilidh Child, are racing the 400m flat at 3.16pm, against five times World and Olympic gold medallist Natasha Hastings of the USA.
In the men’s 400m at 3.27pm,Chris Brown, who won London Olympic gold as part of the Bahamas’ 4x400m relay team, will face a strong challenge from American Manteo Mitchell, a world indoor 4x400m champion and Great Britain’s Nigel Levine, a world indoor 4x400m silver medallist.
Isn’t the men’s 3000m line-up a bit tasty?
Very much so. The top quality race at 3.38pm will be a re-run of last year’s world indoor championship final in Istanbul, starring USA’s Bernard Lagat (the winner) and Kenya’s Augustine Kiprono Choge (the runner-up).
What’s this about an star-studded finale?
The meet will close with three crackers from 3.55pm. In the women’s 60m, the second fastest woman of all time over 100m, Carmelita Jeter, might have to push close-ish to the 7-second mark to beat Germany’s Verena Sailer.
At 4.07pm, it’s the race everyone’s been talking about, where two of Britain’s track heroes will go head-to-head over 600m. Olympic 800m finalist and world indoor bronze medallist Andrew Osagie will be up against world 400m hurdles champion Dai Greene (competing for the ‘Commonwealth Team’). Duane Solomon, who finished 4th in 1:42.82 in THAT Olympic 800m final, and proven 600m runner Ivan Tukhtachev, will also both fancy their chances in Glasgow’s all-star 600m.
The speed kings will round off a bumper day of athletics in the 60m dash. Great Britain’s world indoor bronze medallist Dwain Chambers takes on the USA’s former world indoor 60m silver medallist Mike Rodgers, and former world 100m champion Kim Collins, at 4.16pm.
Will there be any disability events?
Yes. In the first disability events ever to be held in the Glasgow International Match’s history, Libby Clegg, silver medallist in the T12 100m at London 2012, will headline the T11/12 60m event and Stef Reid, who won Paralympic silver in the F44 long jump, will compete in a competitive F44/46 long jump field.
Three members of the British gold medal-winning T37 4x100m relay team from London 2012; Olivia Breen, Katrina Hart and Jenny McLoughlin, will all line up over 60m. T46 100m Paralympic bronze medallist Ola Abidogun will take on a world class field in the T46 60m.
This all sounds great. How can I watch it?
If you missed out on tickets, you can watch the British Athletics Glasgow International Match live on BBC1 between 1:30-4:30pm. The full (draft) timetable is online here.