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Last Updated: Sunday, 10 February 2008, 17:43 GMT
Heptathletes warm up with titles
Jessica Ennis and Kelly Sotherton
Ennis and Sotherton both picked up indoor titles in Sheffield
Heptathletes Jessica Ennis and Kelly Sotherton warmed up for the Olympic season with wins at the world indoor trials and national championships.

Ennis leapt to a new personal best of 1.92m in the high jump on Sunday while Sotherton clinched Saturday's long jump title with her first jump of 6.41m.

Sotherton will compete in the pentathlon at next month's World Indoors but Ennis has chosen not to go.

Dwain Chambers's win in the 60m was the highlight of the weekend's action.

However, Sotherton said she had become exasperated by the Chambers debate, saying: "I don't really want to comment on Dwain Chambers.

"It is tarnishing the whole meet, it is not just about one athlete."

Sotherton also landed a season's best 14m in the shot put before finishing fourth behind Ennis in the 60m hurdles.

The 31-year-old added: "This is a good marker to improve on so I reach my best for (the world indoors in) Valencia.

606: DEBATE
BBC's Sarah Holt

"I'm finding my way back into the training and trying to keep fresh."

Chambers staked his claim for a place in Great Britain's squad for the World Indoors with an emphatic sprint victory.

After surviving a false start from himself and Simeon Williamson, he powered away from the pack to win in 6.56 seconds from Williamson (6.61) and Rikki Fifton (6.65).

Craig Pickering, who had led the British rankings this season, never recovered from a poor start and finished fifth in 6.70.

As the race winner, Chambers should automatically be selected for the squad under UK Athletics's selection policy, leaving Williamson and Pickering to battle it out for the discretionary pick.

Laura Turner defended her 60m sprint crown after the women's final was depleted by the withdrawal of Jeanette Kwakye (groin strain) and Joice Maduaka (cramp).

Turner's time of 7.32 seconds was a season's best but is still below the qualifying mark of 7.30 for the World Indoors.

Chris Tomlinson wrapped up a fifth long jump title with a leap of 7.80m in the fourth round.

The 26-year-old said: "Having trained a lot with Jonathan Edwards, I have learned that it is all about winning on the day.

"My series of jumps were OK but all I wanted to do was win."

Chris Tomlinson
Tomlinson has won all three competitions he has entered this year

Phillips Idowu claimed the triple jump title with his first-round effort of 17.24m ahead of Nathan Douglas (16.72m).

However, the European Indoor champion said he was not sure whether he would travel to Valencia for the World Indoor Championships.

"I'm not good with commitment and so we'll see how it goes," Idowu told BBC Sport. "I'm not going to be ecstatic about that jump but my season is moving in the right direction."

There were also encouraging performances from 800m specialists James McIlroy and Jemma Simpson in their respective 1500m races.

McIlroy pulled clear at the bell to win in three minutes 44.90 seconds while Simpson, who was celebrating her birthday, won in a personal best 4:13.99 from Susan Scott.

The women's 800m was another brilliant demonstration of middle distance tactics as Jenny Meadows and Marilyn Okoro fought out a two-horse race.

Okoro led from the gun only for Meadows to overhaul her off the final bend and win in a season's best 2:01.97.

"It's always an epic battle between Marilyn and me," said Meadows. "I just bided my time and it shows there are a few more seconds left in my legs."

On Saturday, Belgrave Harrier Samson Oni qualified for next month's world indoors and the Beijing Olympics after clearing 2.30m to win the men's high jump.

It was a personal best by 3cm for the 26-year-old, which put him equal fourth on the all-time British list.

Commonwealth bronze medallist Steve Lewis was a clear winner in the pole vault with a stadium record of 5.61m while Allan Scott won the 60m hurdles in 7.61 seconds.

Joice Maduaka, who has won four national indoor 60m titles, won the 200m for the first time in a personal best of 23.43.

SEE ALSO
Chambers gives selectors headache
10 Feb 08 |  Athletics
Sotherton's hunt for Olympic gold
17 Jan 08 |  Athletics
Chambers row sparks rules rethink
08 Feb 08 |  Athletics
Chambers cleared to run at trials
05 Feb 08 |  Athletics
Pickering victory secures GB win
26 Jan 08 |  Athletics


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