Athletes are ready for Sunday’s Great South Run

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WORLD-class athletes today told of their excitement at the launch of the 23rd Great South Run.

Among the record breaking number of competitors this year are 2006 winner Jo Pavey, who is 2012 European 10,000m silver medallist and Abel Kirui - London 2012 Olympic marathon silver medallist and reining marathon world champion.

EXCITED The athletes at today's press conference. Picture: Malcolm Wells

EXCITED The athletes at today's press conference. Picture: Malcolm Wells

They attended a launch event at the National Museum of the Royal Navy at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

They were joined by London 2012 Olympic 10,000m bronze medallist Tariku Bekele and Julia Bleasdale, finalist in both the 10,000m and the 5000m at London 2012.

Race director Colin Goater said: ‘It’s a great race and I think people will enjoy it. It’s going to be great day.’

Speaking of the course, he said: ‘It hasn’t changed one metre. It is exactly the same. It’s flat, and talking to Julia (Bleasdale) she was possibly disappointed there were no hills.

‘The only hill you are going to raise is the slight rise in Winston Churchill Avenue. It has produced some fast time over the years, including of course a world record some years ago.’

A record 25,000 people are expected to take part in the 10 mile event which will be broadcast in nearly 100 countries.

THERE’S MORE: The guide for all you’ll need to know about Sunday’s Great South Run