ATHLETICS: Thomas Barr and Mark English head Euro field for Ireland

Ireland's Mark English
Ireland's Mark English

Thomas Barr and Mark English lead the Irish side for the European Athletics Team Championships in Heraklion, Greece on Saturday and Sunday. Barr leads the European rankings over 400 hurdles while English took silver in the Euro Indoor 800.

There is big Ulster interest with Ben Reynolds in 110 hurdles, Adam McMullan in the long jump, Dempsey McGuigan (hammer) and Jonathan Browning (4x100) in the men’s events hoping for top six placings.

In the ladies events Amy Foster is in 100m and relay, Kerry O’Flaherty 1500, Christine McMahon 400 hurdles and Megan Tice in the pole vault.

The opposition in league one comes from Greece, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Switzerland and Turkey. The top three get promoted to the senior league.

Meanwhile, the Northern Ireland Masters Track and Field Championships are being held on Saturday at the Mary Peters Track with a full range of events.

Kelly Neely will go close to her Irish record in the 800, John Corr and Roger Sexton will be worth watching in the sprints as will former world indoor medallist Paul McKee if he competes. Brian Boyce at 400 and Damien Crawford in throws can take medals.

In the ladies Denise Toner struck gold last time in 400, 800 and 1500 and can take another treble. Other ladies to watch include Jenni Black and Ruth Perioli in middle distance and Danea Herron and Mary Barrett in the field. The action starts at 11.30am.

In other action, Stephen Duncan and Omagh team-mate Paul Barbour will be favourites for Sunday’s Omagh Youth Sport 10k road race. Duncan was a comfortable winner at Enniskillen while Barbour is building up a string of victories. Stephen Prentice, Fergus McGirr, Michael Kerr and Brian Young will all be at the head of the field.

The 10k and fun run start from Youth Sport at 12 noon. Entries taken until 11.15am.

Finally, North Belfast Harriers will be fancied in their own promotion of the Divis Mountain 10 miles challenge on Saturday.

Mark McKinstry was runner-up at Ballyclare and Ballymena and along with Brendan Grew was in the top 10 at Lisburn. Neil Carty and Simon Reeve will both go well.

Mountain star Shileen O’Kane, fresh from her Carlingford success, should win the ladies again from Jacqui Toal and Gillian Cordner.