Sunderland's Alyson Dixon gets England Commonwealth Games call-up
Sunderland Stroller Alyson Dixon has been selected for the England team for next year's Commonwealth Games marathon on the Australian Gold Coast.
This is the second honour for the 39-year-old this year after competing in the World Championships marathon in London in August.
The 75-strong team will prepare for the event at a holding camp in Brisbane before the Games get underway on April 4 and finish on the 15th.
This is the second Commonwealth call-up for Dixon after being selected for Glasgow in 2014, where she failed to finish the marathon after sustaining a calf injury.
She currently heads the British women’s marathon ranking list with her 2hr 29min.06sec from the London Marathon in April, where she retained her British title.
The Silksworth athlete is currently training at high altitude at Fort Romeau in France. Dixon is joined in the marathon by former Wallsend Harrier Sonia Samuels (Sale Harriers).
The North East has two other athletes selected in Laura Weightman (Morpeth) in the 5000m and former Jarrow and Hebburn runner Sarah McDonald, who goes in the 1500m.
Olympic gold medallist Greg Rutherford headlines the 75-strong athletics squad Team England has announced.
Rutherford, who won the long jump title at London 2012, has had an injury-disrupted year and missed the World Championships in London over the summer due to an ankle problem.
The 30-year-old later had surgery to fix a hernia issue but will be in Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018 to defend the Commonwealth gold he won in Scotland.
As expected, Sir Mo Farah, 34, will not be there having recently called time on his track career to focus on road racing, but other medal hopefuls like Adam Gemili, Dina Asher-Smith and Katarina Johnson-Thompson have all been included. Gemili was pipped to the 100 metres gold in Glasgow by Jamaican Kemar Bailey-Cole and was also part of the sprint relay team that finished second to the Jamaicans.
“Winning two silver medals in Glasgow 2014 was an incredible experience for me and I’m really excited to get back out there,” Gemili said.