ATHLETICS: Athletes have last chance to impress in Dublin before start of Commonwealth Games

Amy Foster
Amy Foster

More than half of the Northern Ireland Commonwealth team will be having their final outing before Glasgow when they compete in the Glohealth Irish Track and Field Championships at Santry, Dublin on Saturday and Sunday.

Zoe Brown, fresh from her 4.45 metre pole vault in Cardiff where she defeated several of her Commonwealth rivals, competes against Tori Pena of Finn Valley who has also cleared 4.45. Brown should notch up another win.

Amy Foster is favourite for the 100m although the former champion faces a strong line-up with holder Kelly Proper, Phil Healy, Niamh Whelan and Cathy McManus all listed.

Katie Kirk is entered for both 400m and 800m and can certainly win the two-lap race. Ciara Everard and Erin McIlveen can take medals while World Junior silver medallist over 1500m Ciara Mageean makes a reappearance after two years out with injury.

Christine McMahon has a rematch with Jessie Barr in the 400m hurdles while Ben Reynolds should take the Men’s high hurdles from a field which includes his brother and coach Tom.

Kerry O’Flaherty is entered for the 1500m along with Maria McCambridge, Dean Adams, Jonathan Browning and Curtis Woods are in the sprints, Eddie McGinley in the 10,000m and Adam McMullan in the long jump.

Danny Mooney runs in the Men’s 1500m which includes four European qualifiers in Belfast winner Paul Robinson, World finalist Ciaran O’Lonard, John Travers and David McCarthy. Dempsey McGuigan should take a hammer medal.

Record breaking 400m hurdler Thomas Barr will be among the main attractions along with Brian Gregan at 400m, Mark English at 800m and Kelly Proper in sprints and long jump.

Meanwhile, the Kennedy Kane McArthur Half Marathon and 10K will be promoted by the Springwell Club at Dervock on Saturday. The Half Marathon is part of the Pure Running/ChampionChip Ireland Series.

Barrie Atkinson, Michael Fitzpatrick, Chris Denton, David Proctor and Mark Walker third last year behind Jack Neeson and Paul Thompson will all be among the front runners along there will be entries on the day.

Diane Watson has been running well and will feature in the Ladies along with Anne Fitzpatrick and Natalie Bowbanks.

Matthew McCooke and Noah Connor the top two last year can repeat in the 10K although Ballymena Runners team mate Jarleth Falls may turn out. Gemma Turley is the Ladies holder and can win again from Julie Murphy and Karen McLaughlin.

The 10K starts outside the recreation grounds at 10.45am with the half marathon going at 11am.

And Neville O’Neill will be favourite to win Sunday’s Lisburn Triathlon which has attracted a big field.

The Olympian member was second last year after winning in 2012. He came second at the Causeway Coast this season. Club mates Clifford Rogers fourth two years ago and Chris Fleming tenth last time will feature along with Chris Madden.

Anne Paul has won at Lisburn for the last two seasons and should complete her hat trick. Laura Wylie second in Derry and Adele Neill third in the Peninsular Race can be next.

The first of four groups go into the pool in Lisburn Sportsplex at 9am. There is also a Junior Aquathlon.