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Page last updated at 12:14 GMT, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 13:14 UK

Nicola Sanders preferred to Ohuruogu for 400m place

European Team Championships
Venue: Bergen, Norway Date: 19-20 June
Watch live on BBC Two, Red Button and BBC Sport website (UK only) - Sat 1645-1900 BST, Sun 1415-1710 BST; Updates on BBC Radio 5 live. Details of BBC coverage

Nicola Sanders
Sanders missed out on a medal at the Beijing Olympics

Nicola Sanders has been preferred to Olympic champion Christine Ohuruogu for the 400m place at this month's European Team Championships in Bergen.

Sanders has struggled with injury since Beijing but has been given a chance to prove her form on the Great Britain and Northern Ireland team in Norway.

Ohuruogu has been included in the line-up for the 4x400m relay at the two-day event, which starts on 19 June.

World Championship medallists Philips Idowu and Jenny Meadows are also named.

But world heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis was not chosen because of her busy multi-event schedule.

Sanders has had a disrupted career since finishing second behind Ohuruogu at the 2007 World Championships, missing out on a place in both the Olympic final and the 2009 World Championships.

Ohuruogu has had races already. We expect Sanders to run well so it's not a weaker line-up.

UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee

But Ohuruogu, who lead the GB team in last year's inaugural team event, has had a slow start to the season and was only fourth in the Diamond League meeting in Oslo last Friday after finishing fifth in the opening round in Doha.

But UK Athletics head coach Charles van Commenee stressed the decision was not a reflection on Ohuruogu's form.

He said: "Sanders has got a lack of competition rhythm and it will give her that opportunity to be prepared for the rest of the season.

"Ohuruogu has had races already. We expect Sanders to run well so it's not a weaker line-up."

He also backed Ohuruogu to overcome her struggles.

"She's trying to find the right pace and making changes in training," he added.

"When you're beaten by quite a margin, by definition you need to do something different to step one or two levels up.

"I would never bet against an Olympic champion with ambition."

Controversial sprinter Dwain Chambers has been given the 100m spot for the second consecutive year while the team also features a number of athletes who are returning to GB colours.


Jo Pavey will compete for Britain for the first time since giving birth to her first child last September when she tackles the 5,000m while javelin star Goldie Sayers and long jumper Jade Johnson return after injury.

The likes of Mo Farah, David Greene and Michael Rimmer will be hoping to continue their good form.

Farah set a new British 10km road record last month and will race over half that distance in Norway while Greene and Rimmer have been impressive in the 400m hurdles and 800m respectively.

Van Commenee has targeted at least a repeat of last year's third place and is looking for athletes to prove their credentials ahead of the following week's European Trials and UK Championships in Birmingham.

"This is a good solid squad with a blend of proven international performers and younger athletes who will be looking to make a name for themselves in a year of European competition," he said.

"I am particularly delighted to see Nicola, Jade and Jo returning to the team and the current form of Mo Farah and a number of others means I'm anticipating some excellent performances."


100 metres: Dwain Chambers (Belgrave); 200m: Leon Baptiste (Enfield & Haringey); 400m: Martyn Rooney (Croydon); 800m: Michael Rimmer (Liverpool Harriers); 1,500m: Colin McCourt (Bournemouth); 3,000m: Chris Thompson (Aldershot Farnham & District); 5,000m: Mo Farah (Newham & Essex). 110m hurdles: Andy Turner (Sale Harriers); 400m hurdles: David Greene (Swansea); 3,000m steeplechase: Luke Gunn (Derby). High Jump: Tom Parsons (Birchfield); Pole Vault: Steve Lewis (Newham & Essex); Long Jump: Chris Tomlinson (Newham & Essex); Triple Jump: Phillips Idowu (Belgrave); Shot: Carl Myerscough (Blackpool Wyre & Fylde); Discus: Brett Morse (Birchfield). Javelin: Mervyn Luckwell (Marshall Milton Keynes); Hammer: Alex Smith (Sale Harriers).4x100m: Baptiste, Marlon Devonish (Coventry Godiva), Tyrone Edgar (Newham & Essex), James Ellington (Belgrave); Jeffrey Lawal Balogun (Kent); Craig Pickering (Marshall Milton Keynes). 4x400m: Michael Bingham (unattached); Chris Clarke (Marshall Milton Keynes); David Greene (Swansea); Robert Tobin (Basingstoke & Mid Hants); Conrad Williams (Kent).


100m: Laura Turner (Harrow);200m: Emily Freeman (Wakefield Harriers); 400m: Nicola Sanders (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow); 800m: Jenny Meadows (Wigan); 1,500m: Hannah England (Oxford City); 3,000m: Emma Pallant (Aldershot Farnham & District); 5,000m: Jo Pavey (Exeter). 100m hurdles: Angelita Broadbelt Blake (Thames Valley Harriers); 400m hurdles: Eilidh Child (Pitreavie); 3,000m steeplechase: Barbara Parker (City of Norwich); High Jump: Steph Pywell (Sale Harriers). Pole Vault: Kate Dennison (Sale Harriers). Long Jump: Jade Johnson (Herne Hill). Triple Jump: Nadia Williams (Shaftesbury Barnett). Shot: Rebecca Peake (Sale Harriers). Discus: Phillipa Roles (Swansea). Javelin: Goldie Sayers (Belgrave). Hammer: Sarah Holt (Sale Harriers). 4x100m: Emma Ania (Shaftesbury Barnett); Katherine Endacott (City of Plymouth); Freeman; Joice Maduaka (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies); Elaine O'Neill (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies); Turner. 4x400m: Child, Meadows, Christine Ohuruogu (Newham & Essex), Sanders, Perri Shakes Drayton (Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets), Kim Wall (Basildon).

see also
Ohuruogu and Idowu reach finals
16 Aug 09 |  Athletics
Ohuruogu claims gold for Britain
29 Aug 07 |  Athletics
Gold vindicates Sanders decision
04 Mar 07 |  Athletics
Athletics on the BBC
21 Apr 11 |  Athletics

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