Athletics: Sheffield-based Bloor begins the road to Rio Olympics

Louise Bloor the trainig partner of Jessica Ennis at the English Institute of Sport
Louise Bloor the trainig partner of Jessica Ennis at the English Institute of Sport

The second Northern Open Indoor meeting takes place today at the EIS, Sheffield (10.45am)

There is a huge entry across the age groups with the 60 metres being particularly well supported. Sheffield-based Louise Bloor (Trafford) lines up in the 60 metres. Bloor last competed in August when she helped Yorkshire to victory in the Inter Counties Championship by winning the 100 metres.

She is aiming for a place in the rely squad at the Olympic Games and tomorrow’s outing is part of her winter preparation towards that target.

City of Sheffield trio Ben Shields, Elliott Hurley and Liam Ramsay should be prominent in the men’s 60 metres with Shields also listed for the 300 metres. Decathlete Ramsay also does the long jump and hurdles. Sheffield junior Joe Hobson also tackles the sprint, long jump and hurdles.

Rotherham junior Lee Thompson, who had such a good season at 400 metres, is expected to show his pace over 300 metres.

Steel City Striders promotion, the Percy Pud 10k road race, takes place on Sunday and has again attracted the maximum number of 2200, selling out within hours of the launch.

Hallamshire’s Gavin Keight won last year’s race from Will Beauchamp (Sheffield RC). It would be no surprise to see those two battling it out again along with Andy Challenger (Hallamshire) and Gareth Lowe (Clowne RR).

A dark horse could be former international Jason Ward (Hallamshire) who holds the course record with 30:04. After an absence from competition, Ward is reported to be back in training.

The top woman last year was Steph Burns (Rotherham) and she is again expected to do well.

The course goes along the picturesque Loxley Valley on the North West outskirts of the city. It is a slightly undulating “out and back” course with very few turns making it a good course for those looking for personal best time.

The race starts at 9.30am.