Mageean Runs Season's Best While Appeal Against Pollock Rio Selection Rejected

30 May 2016

Rio Olympics bound middle distance runner  Ciara Mageean continued her year in style at the weekend with a season's best performance in the big athletics meeting in Oordegem, Belgium.

The 24 year old Portaferry woman timed her race to perfection with a narrow victory  in the  top 1,500 metres event where she crossed the line  in a time of 4mins 8.05 secs which is her fastest this year . It is  also her 5th quickest ever behind her NI record of 4.06.47 from Italy last year.

Ciara defeated Swedish international Sarah Lahti ( 4.08.91) and GB's Melissa Courtney. She will now pick up a series of other races over her a Rio distance before the final Irish selection date of 11th July.

In the same meeting Letterkenny steeplechaser  Sara Treacy who has qualified for Rio along with Newcastle's Kerry O'Flaherty ran  another Olympic time of 9 .44.56.

Meanwhile the Independent Appeals Committee set up by Athletics Ireland has rejected the appeal by Clonliffe's  Sergeiu Ciobanu who did not get selected for the Rio Marathon despite the fact that Rio bound Paul Pollock from Holywood had a marginally slower time.

The Committee found that "there was no procedural defect in the decisions. All athletes are required to stay in peak physical condition before the final selection date on 11th July".

Pollock is therefore required to confirm his return to fitness following injury by competing in the European Half Marathon in Amsterdam in early July.


European Clubs Cup Championships, Liera Portugal

Leon Reid (James Hillier) helped Birchfield Harriers win the title with victories in the 100m (10.51 -1.2) and 200m (20.83 1.4).


AAI Multi Events Championships / AAI Games , Santry

Kate O'Connor (Dundalk St. Gerards / Michael O'Connor) smashed through the 5000 point barrier in her first ever Heptathlon. Her score of 5074 will go down as a NI U18 record and qualifies her for the European Youths taking place in Tblisi, Georgia in July. She started her first day with a significant PB in the 100m Hurdles with 15.35.

Naomi Morgan (City of Derry Spartans / Tom Reynolds)  took the senior women's title in 4409 and also had a PB in the first event with 14.7 in the 100m Hurdles.  Michael Surman (City of Derry Spartans / Mike Corden) took the U20 men's Decathlon title with a PB score of 5499. 

The conditions at Santry were excellent for fast sprints and Megan Marrs (City of Lisburn / Tom Reynolds) won the 100m Hurdles in 13.90 before winning both 100m races in her fastest ever performances with 11.65 (3.6) and 11.72 (3.0). Jonathan Browning (Ballymena & Antrim AC, Melanie Browning) took both of the mens races with 10.65 (2.4) and 10.81 (-0.8). North Down's Laura Saulters jumped a wind assisted 11.75m to take second place in the women's triple jump before recording a legal PB of 11.64m.

James Hamilton (Ballymena Runners / Mark Kirk & Ray Curran) warmed up for next months European IPC Championships with a sub 2 min performance in the mens 800m.


BMC Watford

Former Youth Academy Athlete Andrew Wright (Willofield / Mark Kirk & James Thie), now based in Cardiff, broke his 1500m personal best with 3.47.86 when finishing 13th in the A race. In the D race City of Derry Spartans athlete Fintan Stewart (Sean Laverty) took three seconds off his PB to run 3.54.51 which is well inside the European Youth Standard.

In the 800m Conal Kirk (Mark Kirk)  made a welcome return to racing winning the H race in 1.53.29 while Callum Crawford-Walker (Lagan Valley / Mark Kirk) recorded his third sub 1.53 race of the season to finish 2nd in the D race. City of Lisburn AC's Erin McIlveen (Brian Whittle) ran 2.06.12 for second in the B race.