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Gianni Frankis and Jessica Judd ready for UK Indoor Championships
GIANNI Frankis will be hoping to secure selection for the European Championships while Jessica Judd will make her indoor debut at the UK Championships and trials this weekend.
Sprint hurdler Frankis, from Pitsea, needs to finish in the top two in the 60m hurdles race in Sheffield, as well as dip inside the qualifying standard needed to make the European Indoor Championships.
The 24-year-old is in good form this winter, running a personal best of 6.67s in Vienna last week, a time that was just outside the 6.65s qualifying time.
That PB puts Frankis second in the UK rankings, with only Andy Pozzi – who finished fourth at the World Indoor Championships last year – ahead of him.
With none of the more established GB sprint hurdlers running this weekend – the likes of Andy Turner, Lawrence Clarke and Will Sharman have all opted out – Frankis will have Pozzi as his main competition tomorrow and will be hoping the head-to-head will spur him on to a top-two finish and the all-important qualifying time.
Should he fail to get the time needed tomorrow but finish in the top two, the former King John School pupil will have one more week to run the time required to be on board the plane to Gothenburg in March.
Meanwhile, Judd – a current King John School student – has said she intends to enjoy Sunday’s 3,000m race which will be her first ever race indoors.
The 18-year-old, World Junior Championships silver medallist over 800m, has traditionally focused her winter attentions on cross-country.
But she has decided to get the track spikes out early this year and compete in a youthful looking 3,000m on Sunday afternoon.
Despite being one of the youngest in the field, Judd – whose PB over 3,000m (9m 8.5s) dates back to 2011 – will be hoping to mix it with the leading contenders such as Emily Stewart and Elle Baker, who have both run 9m5s indoors this year already.
Judd’s Chelmsford AC team-mate Sophie Riches is the youngest in the 1,500m field after accepting an invite to compete at the championships.
The 17-year-old from Rayleigh, who won the UK School Games 1,500m last season, has also not competed indoors before and will be looking to build on some encouraging winter form.
Another Chelmsford AC athlete bang in form is Lauren Bouchard, from Leigh, who will be running the 400m in Sheffield.
The GB junior international 400m hurdler warmed up for the trials by dipping under 55 seconds for 400m for the first time – twice on the same day last week.
The Loughborough University student clocked 54.40s and then 54.63s at the Birmingham Games indoor meeting and will be hoping to maintain that consistency this weekend.