Charlie Grice is targeting a place at the World Indoor Championships in Portland, America, in March but his main goal for 2016 is to qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time.

By Steve Hollis |

Charlie Grice’s Olympic dream has been given a major boost by the undisputed king of British athletics.

Mo Farah has specially selected Charlie Grice and fellow Sussex middle distance runner Adam Clarke to join him at a high-altitude training camp in Ethiopia.

The pair will spend five weeks with the double Olympic and world champion at Yaya Village on the outskirts of Addis Ababa as they prepare for the indoor season and lay the groundwork ahead of the Olympic Games in Rio this summer.

Farah requested that Charlie Grice accompany him to the camp – which sits at an altitude of 2,800m – having been impressed by his ninth place finish in the 1,500m at the World Championships in Beijing last year while Clarke caught the eye when he acted as Farah’s pacemaker at a pre-World Championship training camp in Japan.

Charlie Grice, who is due to fly off tomorrow after competing at the Great Edinburgh Cross Country today, said: “Mo is pretty picky about who he gets to go out there due to all the stories and rumors (his coach Alberto Salazar was accused of doping athletes last year).

“He is very wary who he lets come along so it is a really good opportunity for me and Adam.

“Mo prefers it in Ethiopia (to British Athletic’s high altitude training camp in Kenya) and Barry Fudge (head of endurance at British Athletics) asked if I wanted to go.

“He normally just goes by himself as he has an entourage of Africans who join in his sessions when he needs someone.

“But Mo sees me as a young talent and wants to nurture me and Adam did a good job as pacemaker so it will be the three of us.”

Charlie Grice has trained regularly in Kenya for the last few years having witnessed the success Farah has achieved from training at high altitude.

He returned to Brighton after two months in Africa just before Christmas where he was joined by his coach Jon Bigg and a number of club-mates from Phoenix.

The 22-year-old will use the five weeks in Ethiopia to prepare for a race against Farah over 3,000m at the Glasgow Grand Prix on February 20 ahead of the British Indoor Championships in Sheffield the following weekend where he will be defending his 1,500m title.

Charlie Grice is targeting a place at the World Indoor Championships in Portland, America, in March but his main goal for 2016 is to qualify for the Olympic Games for the first time.

He added: “I’ve been going to Kenya a lot the last few years and it will be stepping up to the next level as Ethiopia is a lot higher.

“It will be nice to go somewhere different and it is a lot flatter than Kenya so will be better preparation for the indoor season.

“I have committed to the altitude program for a number of years now and I think Mo has recognized that.

“He is the top man for getting results from it and hopefully he will drag me up to his level!

“Jon (Bigg) is coming out for a few weeks as well so he’ll be able to pick up things from what Mo is doing and it will be great to jump in on some of Mo’s sessions.

“I won’t be doing everything with him as he is training for the world half marathon in March but it will still be great just having him around.

“It will be interesting just to see how he goes about things, not just the training sessions but the whole package of how he structures his time out there.”

Clarke, from Hastings, slashed four seconds off his 1,500m personal best last season after a break of two years from track runner and reached the finals at both the British indoor and outdoor championships.

“It is really good for Adam as well,” added Grice. “I think he is ready for a bit of a breakthrough year and this should really help him.”

Source: The Argus


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