O’Flaherty and Reynolds compete in Beijing

Ben Reynolds
Ben Reynolds

Local stars Ben Reynolds and Kerry O’Flaherty go into the white hot cauldron of the World Athletics Championships in Beijing this weekend.

Ben, from North Down, set a Northern Ireland record of 13.48 for 110 hurdles earlier this season. He also clocked 13.57 and 13.61 and must have a great chance of making the semi finals at least.

He took the Northern Ireland and Irish titles and can break his own record. Ben is no strange to top competition having been at the World Indoors at Istanbul in 2012.

Kerry O’Flaherty has steadily improved her own Northern Ireland records for the steeplechase clocking 9:42.61 in Letterkenny. She ran second in the Irish 1500 and will aim to reach the final in Beijing. She competed in last year’s Commonwealth Games.

Thomas Barr and Mark English look to have the best chances of success of the twelve strong Irish team.

Barr, from Ferrybank in Waterford, ranks in the Worlds top ten for 400 hurdles. He struck gold in the World Universities and ran 48.65 in Rome.

English from Letterkenny came third in the European 800 and second in the indoor version. He won the Irish title two weeks ago and has run 1:45.49 this season.

Kelly Proper is in the 200, Ciara Everard is in the 800, Tori Pena is in pole vault while double Irish champion Sara Tracey and Michelle Finn join Kerry O’Flaherty in the steeplechase.

Robert Heffernan defends his 50K walk title and is joined by Brendan Boyce and Alex Wright while the 4x400 relay team set a national record of 3:01.67 last year.

Tonight’s local action is the third running of the Mallusk Harriers 5 Miles Road Race from Academy grounds. A big field is expected with the action starting at 7.30pm.