In the aura of anticipated pulsating end-to-end action and stirring contests on the track and the infield, there are several British matters to be settled at the AVIVA Grand Prix in Birmingham today either in terms of challenging national records or clinching late places on the British team for Istanbul incorporated in.

So let’s have a look through what could be on offer in a few hours, starting with potential bids for UK records.

Men’s 2 miles

It’s hard to see how John Mayock‘s landmark of 8:17.06, set on this very arena 10 years ago, can possibly survive the onslaught of Mo Farah, save some disaster, or Emiel Puttemans (BEL) haunted European record of 8:13.2 (1973) come to that. The world 5000m champion is in frightening shape and overflowing with pace so has got to run over those marks and even force his way inside the territory of the very great, 8:10 that is.

The finale of the meeting has been specially reserved for his venture and he will enjoy some quality company along in his quest in the shape of Eliud Kipchoge (KEN), Tariku Bekele (ETH) and Moses Kipsiro (UGA).

Jonny Mellor, Stephen Davies and Mark Mitchell get a rare opportunity to race against such calibre opposition and could seriously revise their record books either over the full distance or at 3000m.

Women’s Pole Vault

Every time Holly Bleasdale steps into an arena the UK record simply lies on the line and so should be the case today. Some late technical tweaks to her vaulting model must have bedded in a lot more by now and something around 4.90m has got to be well on the cards today.

It’s a shame that German Sielke Spiegelburg (4.77) has pulled out of the contest late as she could have provided some hot competition up to dizzy heights but hopefully former world champion Anna Rogowska could step into her stead in that regard.

A further UK record, an U20 one, could be looked for in Katie Byres but beyond the British shores in France as she will be attempting to rewrite her 4.37m from the UK Trials in Sheffield last weekend.

Women’s Long Jump

Long has endured time Susan Heanshaw‘s 6.70m, set twice in winning gold at the European Indoor Championships in 1984, and even survived by the skin of its teeth when Jo Wise tied it at the World Indoor Championships in 1997 but its time to make way may have finally come as Shara Proctor indicated through an indoor best just a couple of centimetres shy last weekend.

She has been very consistent in the 6.6m province this term, ranging therein in all her three outings, and if she clicks on the day a mark in the high 6.7m region shouldn’t be ruled out.

Men’s High Jump

Robbie Grabarz has made talk of targetting Steve Smith‘s mighty record of 2.38m but it is maybe very early for that to arrive today even though his clearance over his PB of 2.34m suggested there is more to come. Smith was jumping regularly around 2.34 to 2.37m in his time so such a platform may be required. Nevertheless, nothing can be dismissed but the World Indoor Championships look like a more likely occasion to challenge heights in that sphere.

Samson Oni is in that one too and will be eyeing to rewrite his PB of 2.31m, which he has tied this winter, against some good field involving Donald Thomas (BAH), Andra Manson (USA) and Michal Kabelka (SVK).

Women’s 3000m

Helen Clitheroe could have an outside chance of replacing Jo Pavey at the top of the UK indoor lists with the British barrier lying at 8:31.50 from Stuttgart five years ago. She has wintered superbly and goes off a substantially better starting-point of 8:45.59, set in Glasgow last month, than last year when she set her PB of 8:39.81 en route to winning the European title in Paris.

Moving over to run-offs for places in Istanbul now, so let’s see what could lie in store in the following events.

Men’s 60m

Following the withdrawals of Simeon Williamson and Mark Lewis-Francis, the battle for the second spot alongside Dwain Chambers narrows down to Andrew Robertson and Harry Aikines-Ayreety, the runner-up and third-placed at the UK Trials respectively, who face off with each other in the second heat.

It’s a tricky situation as Robertson will not only need to hold off his rival but also dip inside his week-old PB of 6.61 secs even by a mere hundredth. Otherwise, Aikines-Ayreety could snatch a place even in the event of a defeat as he holds the qualifying standard from last winter.

Asafa Powell, Lerone Clarke, Nesta Carter and Michael Frater make up a poweful Jamaican quartet to fight it out for top honours and fast times while evergreen Kim Collins will be hoping that his hamstring will last the demanding task of two fast rounds, having pulled up in both his previous two outings.

Men’s 400m

The virtual run-off will be, sadly, accommodated in the national race that kicks off the meeting’s schedule and inevitably slip outside TV coverage. UK Trials runner-up Michael Bingham lies in a similar position as Robertson in the 60m since he needs to find a time inside 46.90 secs and beat Rirhard Buck again, the latter looking more flowing but often having run into sorts of troubles in his races.

Therefore, it is going to be touch-and-go while none should rule out a late stunner by Conrad Williams who has shown very sharp in the shorter sprints this season – and Luke Lennon-Ford might spring a surprise having been shifted to the main race alonside Nigel Levine.

Men’s 1500m

Andy Baddeley is more likely opt for the 3000m by the look of his racing pattern so James Brewer has got the simple task of showing his form to be named alongside also-competing Lewis Moses and he’s capable of more than that, having displayed potential to go under 3:40.

Men’s 60m hurdles

Lawrence Clarke needs just the qualifying time to make the cut and is lying an agonising 0.03 secs off dreamland (7.65). Could he do it?

Andy Pozzi has got the chance to take his game inside 7.6 secs on the back of an amazingly consistent season in the wake of a mighty contest brewing up between hurdles heavyweights Dayron Robles (CUB) and Xiang Liu (CHN), although none should discount latest American find Kevin Craddock.

Women’s 60m

Following the withdrawal of sensational Jodie Williams (food poisoning), Asha Philip should not have much trouble clinching that second spot, provided she doesn’t slip into any unnecessary mistake, and has shown the credentials to drive even under 7.2 secs.

Laura Turner will have to run out of her skin to upset her lining up in the same heat whereas Jeanette Kwakye won’t have any such concerns and set her eyes on improving her SB of 7.20 secs from last weekend.

Women’s 400m

Normally, Nicola Sanders shouldn’t be interested in anything more than probably a relay place for Istanbul as she is employing a short indoor stint by means of a gauge of her build-up so Nadine Okyere would occupy the remaining spot behind Shana Cox regardless of the result, but until that is confirmed this duel can be also considered as a run-off.

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