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NI Team Break Northern Ireland 4 x 100m Relay Record at Anniversary Games

10 July 2017

NI Team Break Northern Ireland 4 x 100m Relay Record at Anniversary Games

Ciara Mageean (UCD AC /Jerry Kiernan) and the Northern Ireland Men's 4 x 100m Relay Team of Leon Reid (Birchfield Harriers / James Hillier), Jason Smyth (Derry Track Club), Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim AC / Alan Kennedy) and Christian Robinson (City of Lisburn AC / Alan Kennedy) set new Northern Ireland records at this weekend's prestigious London Anniversary Games in England (Sunday 9th July 2017).

The 4 x 100m team always had the potential to do something special and the speedy quartet lived up to expectation, covering the distance in a new Northern Ireland record of 40.35 (7th place).  The previous record, set in 1998 by John McAdorey, Ian Craig, Mark Allen and Paul Brizzel, was 40.70.

After the race, Jason Smyth took to social media, expressing his delight.  The Paralympic hero, who will now look forward to the Para World Championships, said:  "Great days work with these chaps (with photo of the team) at the Anniversary Games.  A 4x100m NI record! This time next week it all kicks off again at world champs."

The NI 4x100m team reserve, Michael McAuley (Ballymena & Antrim AC), was in action for the 4x100m 'All Stars' team who claimed 8th place in 41.84secs.

Ciara Mageean sets new mile record...

In-form Ciara Mageean bettered her own Northern Ireland record over the classic mile distance.  The Olympian clocked 4:22.40 for 7th place in a stacked field.  The race was won by Kenyan Hellen Obiri in 4:16.56 (1st place).  

After the race, Ciara said “(It’s) all going in the right direction towards Worlds in August.”

Letterkenny International Track & Field Meeting

Derry Track Club’s Adam Kirk-Smith (Tomaz Plibersek) was the star performer as Northern Ireland based athletes played their part in an excellent evening of athletics at the annual Letterkenny International Track & Field Meeting in County Donegal, Ireland (Friday 7th July 2017).

The highlight of the event was a sub 4 minute mile by American athlete Robert Domanic – he covered the classic distance in 3:59.88.

Adam Kirk-Smith already had a Commonwealth Games consideration standard for the 3,000m Steeplechase after setting a new personal best of 8:37.62 at the IFAM Track & Field Meeting in Belgium, but the England based athlete added a second standard with another personal best of 8:37.41 for 4th place – this was again well under the 8:43.30 CWG standard.

Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC / Richard Rodgers) returned to the event where she famously clocked the Rio Olympic standard – however, despite a strong run, the talented athlete fell just short of the Gold Coast 3,000m Steeplechase qualifying time of 9:54.00 when she crossed the line in 9:59.56 (5th place).

Ballymena & Antrim AC’s Christine McMahon (Ian Neely) is another athlete who is on the verge of putting herself in the frame for a place on the Northern Ireland team heading to the Commonwealth Games next year – Christine followed on from her 58.30 win at the Belfast International last Wednesday night, with a 59.00 for 2nd place.

There was a strong NI representation in the 3,000m event, with Derry Track Club’s Martin Cox (Malcolm McCausland) leading the local contingent home in a personal best of 8:51.74 (5th place).  Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim AC / Ian Neely) narrowly missed a podium place in the 400m race, after running 49.29 for 4th place.

In the field, John Kelly (John Kelly Snr) claimed a podium place in the Shot Putt with a 16.52m effort for 2nd place.  In the Junior Shot Putt (5kg), James Kelly (John Kelly Snr) landed a 17.35 throw.

BMC Loughborough Grand Prix:

Also, this weekend (Saturday 8th July 2017), a trio of local athletes impressed at the British Milers Club (BMC) Grand Prix in Loughborough, England.

NI 5,000m and 10,000m record holder Emma Mitchell (QUB AC / Eamonn Christie) won the 5,000m comfortably in 16:01.74, a World University Games qualification standard.  

Patrick McNiff (Banbridge AC) was also in action over 5,000m and he set a massive personal best of 15:15.7.  In the 1500m, Ballymena Runners' James Hamilton (Mark Kirk) recorded a season's best of 3:59.92.  

Irish Life AAI National Juvenile Track & Field Championships:

A plethora of up and coming talent travelled to Tullamore for this weekend’s Irish Life AAI National Juvenile Track & Field Championships (Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th July 2017).

No less than 15 familiar faces returned with gold medals, across a wide array of events.  Shercock AC’s Jade Williams was one of a number of local athletes who produced Championship Best Performances - competing in the Under 17 Hammer (3.25kg), Jade threw 57.38m for 1st place.

City of Lisburn AC’s Anna McCauley (Under 17) was also in fine form, sealing victory over the 100m hurdles in 13.98 (+1.3), while Lagan Valley AC’s Ethan Williamson clocked 14.05 (+2.2) for gold in the Under 17 110m hurdles.

The dominant James Kelly (Finn Valley AC) took top honours in the Under 18 Shot Putt (5kg) – following on from his impressive outing in Letterkenny on Friday night, James threw 17.28m (1st place).

Mid Ulster AC’s Grace Carson (Under 18) was in action over 3,000m and won convincingly in 10:53.10 (1st place).  Under 17 athlete Jane Duffy (Shercock AC) also impressed in the 2,000m Steeplechase, crossing the line in 7:48.75 (1st place).  

Zac Moraghan (North Down AC) and Hannah Murray (Finn Valley AC) won their respective Under 15 80m hurdles and Under 13 600m events.  Zac took 1st place in 11.97 (+0.7), while Hannah broke the beam in 1:38.20 (1st place).  Ava Ross (Glaslough Harriers) won the 2,000m Walk in 10:18.92 (1st place).

North Down AC’s Under 16 High Jumper Troy McConville cleared 1.87m for gold, while Annalee AC’s Roisin Kellegher also secured 1st place in the Under 15 High Jump, reaching 1.61m.  Lifford Strabane AC pair Cormac O’Donnell and Jude McCrossan both topped the podium – in the Under 14 2.5kg Hammer, Cormac threw 36.77m for 1st place, while in the Under 15 3kg Hammer, Jude landed a 48.96m throw for victory.

Under 14 athlete Ellen Madden (Ballymena & Antrim AC) won the 0.75kg Discuss with a 31.66m effort for top spot.  In the Under 16 Long Jump, Finn Valley AC’s Lauren Callaghan leaped to 5.42m (1st place).