Former World Indoor medallist Paul McKee from Beechmount makes his veterans debut at the Woodie’s DIY All Ireland Indoor Championships at the new stadium in Athlone on Saturday.
Paul who ranks second in the all time National 400 metres list with 45.58 drops down to the 60 and 200 this time and is liable to strike gold in record times.
He is very useful over the shorter distance with a best of 20.81 and is really ready to go.
“I’m not just looking forward to this weekend for the competition but also to see this new facility in Athlone” he said. “I was originally going to run 400 but it is early in the programme which would mean running the 200 on tired legs”.
Pauline Curley the winner of the National Masters Cross Country in Derry last Sunday is aiming to strike double gold in 1500 and 3000.
Meanwhile at the same venue on Sunday the Junior and U23 Championships are being held.
Christine McMahon from Ballymena and Antrim should win the U23 400. She has already clocked 54.77 in the Universities Championship.
Katie Kirk of Lagan Valley will hope to go well below two minutes ten as she runs the U23 800 against Sinead Denny of DSD while John Kelly of Finn Valley should win the Junior shot.
Meanwhile almost 1000 young athletes will be in action at the Magherafelt Indoor Arena on Saturday for the first instalment of the Northern Ireland and Ulster Age Group Championships.
The entry is loaded with talent with Tirconnail pair Karl Griffin and Mark McGuiness at U19 800 and 1500 worth watching along with Clodagh O’Reilly, Annalee and Aofie Laverty City of Derry in U17 800 and Rebekah Nixon Dromore in U16 800.
The track programme opens at 10am with the U18 Boys 400 and continues through a full programme to the relays at 4.15pm.
The field events also start at 10am with long jumps for U13 Girls and U19 Boys and Girls plus high jumps for U17 Girls and Boys.
And local champions Zoe Brown in pole vault, Amy Foster 60 metres and Kerry Harty 3000 metres will be heading to the UK Championships and European trials at the EIS Arena in Sheffield this weekend.
Asha Philip is favourite for the 60m, while Holly Bleasdale is fancied in the pole vault.