ATHLETICS: Some exciting action in store at Mary Peters Track

Christine McMahon will be in action
Christine McMahon will be in action

Hurdlers and middle distance runners will take centre stage at the Belfast International athletics meeting at the Mary Peters Track on Saturday.

The event, organised by the Irish Milers Club, Beechmount Harriers and Athletics NI will be the first serious competition for many of the 300 athletes from Northern Ireland, Republic of Ireland, England, Scotland, Wales, Poland and Hungary.

The Women’s 400 hurdles has European finalist Jessie Barr against Commonwealth girl Christine McMahon who was second in the British Universities in 57.78 behind Jess Turner who also goes.

The Men’s 110 hurdles has Irish number two Gerard O’Donnell against Danish leader Anders Martinsen, Valdo Szucs of Hungary and Euro U23 fourth placer David King of Bath.

The Women’s 800 is brimful of talent with Irish Indoor silver medallist Laura Crowe, Katie Kirk, World Masters champion Kelly Neely and Erin McIlveen.

Brian Kelly, the winner of the 800 two years ago faces Polish athletes Matusz Borowski and Camil Gurdak both one minute 47 performers as well as Scotland’s Cameron Boyek.

Ciara Mageean, hopefully bound for Rio at 1500, moves up to the Mixed 3000 and could go close to her Northern Ireland record. John Travers from Donore should be top man.

At 1500 metres Olympic two lap hopeful Ciara Everard will face Rowena Cole from England and Banbridge girl Emma Mitchell.

The action starts at 1pm.

Meanwhile, William McKee will start favourite for Saturday’s Annalong Horseshoe Mountain Race over 13.1 miles with 1550 metres of climb. The event is the third round of the NIMRA Championships.

McKee from the Mourne Club is going for his third successive win following Glenariff and the Fallows.

Diane Wilson should build on her win at the Fallows with another success here. Glenariff winner Shileen O’Kane will go close along with Jacqui Toal and Hazel McLaughlin.