Ankier just the ticket

Team Great Britain’s squad for July’s Maccabiah Games has been boosted by the addition of long-distance runner Jo Ankier.

Ankier, 27, was snubbed by the British Olympic Committee last year when she missed out on qualification for the 3,000 metres steeplechase at the Beijing Games by a matter of seconds. In the end, the runner who was chosen ahead of her did not compete due to a stress fracture.

She represented GB as a junior in the 1997 Jewish Olympics and is relishing her senior debut in the half-marathon. “I gained so much from the experience 12 years ago and am really looking forward to my first senior Maccabiah,” Ankier said. “I am sure it will be a really special experience.”

Having returned to full-time work in London after her Olympic heartbreak, Ankier is no longer training as a professional runner although she is still considering pushing for the London 2012 squad.

“I found that the type of running I have been doing and enjoying is more suited to longer distances, so I have decided to compete in the half marathon,” she said.

David Pinnick, Team GB’s head of delegation, said: “Israel always want us to bring our elite athletes and I know that Jo will undoubtedly prove to be an inspirational figure to our younger competitors.”

    Last updated: 12:54pm, April 16 2009