Lake & Schippers Join Great Citygames Line Up
Britain's teenage heptathlon sensation Morgan Lake will take on the Flying Dutchwomen Dafne Schippers in a star-studded long jump competition at the Great CityGames Manchester on Saturday 9 May.
“The Great CityGames Manchester will be my first competition of the summer season and the only one I'll be doing before I go to Gotzis,” said Lake. “I haven't done a CityGames before. I've always watched them on television and wanted to be involved, so I'm excited about coming to Manchester to make my debut.
“It will be amazing to experience competing in front of such a big crowd in Manchester city centre and against Dafne. I competed against Dafne in Gotzis last year and it's great experience for me.
“I'm also looking forward to seeing Jessica Ennis Hill and Katerina Johnson Thompson in action. I think it's great that heptathletes are testing themselves in individual events.”
Lake, the 17-year-old from Camberley in Surrey who struck gold in the heptathlon and high jump at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Eugene last year, and Schippers, the 22-year-old from Utrecht who swept to a 100m-200m sprint double at the European outdoor championships in Zurich last August – and claimed the European indoor 60m crown in Prague last month, have both been added to the field for the long jump in front of an expected 25,000 crowd in Manchester city centre next month.
Like Johnson-Thompson, the 22-year-old Liverpool Harrier – who finished 2014 as the world's top ranked heptathlete and who took the European indoor pentathlon title in Prague, taking on the 200m H in Manchester – both Lake and Schippers are gearing up for the big Hypo Meet heptathlon at Gotzis in Austria at the end of May.
Olympic heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill, also on the entry list for Gotzis, is another of the world's great all-rounders who will be in action in the Great CityGames Manchester but the Sheffield woman competes in the 100m hurdles.
Schippers, who emulated the original ‘Flying Dutchwoman' Fanny Blankers-Koen when she completed her European outdoor sprint double in Zurich last summer, will be putting her burgeoning speed to the test in the 150m.
Winner of the world junior heptathlon title in 2010 and bronze medallist at the world senior championships in Moscow in 2013, Schippers is intending to return to her first love of combined events this year after making a global breakthrough as a sprinter in 2014 and making the shortlist for IAAF World Athlete of the Year.
Lake won the 2014 IAAF Rising Star Award for her golden double at the World Junior Championships. The teenager is significantly better than both Ennis-Hill and Johnson-Thompson were at the same age and continued her progress during the 2015 indoor season, breaking Johnson-Thompson's British junior record in finishing ninth in the European indoor pentathlon.
The Great CityGames Manchester will be held on Saturday 9 May in Manchester city centre and will be shown live on BBC One and BBC One HD from 13:00 – 15:00. The event is part of a weekend-long celebration of sport in the city which includes Europe's biggest 10K event, the Morrisons Great Manchester Run on Sunday 10 May.