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Marilyn in top gear on road to Turin

PUBLISHED: 12:02 25 February 2009 | UPDATED: 13:28 24 August 2010

By Ziad Chaudry MARILYN Okoro gave her European gold medal chances a massive boost with a barnstorming victory in the Aviva Grand Prix 800m at Birmingham on Saturday. The 24-year-old British number one from Neasden once again held off the challenge from h

By Ziad Chaudry

MARILYN Okoro gave her European gold medal chances a massive boost with a barnstorming victory in the Aviva Grand Prix 800m at Birmingham on Saturday.

The 24-year-old British number one from Neasden once again held off the challenge from her great domestic rival Jenny Meadows to record a personal best at the National Indoor Arena.

Her time of one minute 59.27 seconds was the second fastest 800m indoor time this year and just 0.02 seconds behind Italy's Elisa Cusma, one of the favourites for March's European Indoor Championships in Turin.

Meadows, the UK champion, clocked 1:59.52, while Vicky Griffith completed an all-British podium with 2:02.30 after holding off a late challenge from Dutchwoman Yvonne Hak.

"I just wanted to go and be confident out there - that's just what I needed," said Okoro, who is now preparing for the European Indoors on March 7-8.

"I've been looking forward to this all season as the send-off we need for the Europeans. I had a brilliant pace-maker which meant I had to go out and be aggressive.

"This is the real stepping stone for the European Indoors and it's going to be very exciting."

Okoro goes to Turin in solid form. During her five indoor races this season, she also won in Glasgow and achieved two second place finishes, including last week's UK Championships, where she competed in the 400m.

TVH's Annie Tagoe, 15, won silver medals with personal best times in both the under-17 60m and 200m races at Birmingham.

Tagoe is one of around 40 athletes from the Willesden junior squad who will be competing on Sunday at the Middlesex Indoor Championships at Lee Valley Athletics Centre.


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