NI trio set for European Athletics Indoor Championships
02 March 2017
Olympian and European bronze medallist Ciara Mageean (Coach: Jerry Kiernan) will spearhead Ireland’s hunt for honours at this weekend’s European Athletics Indoor Championships in Belgrade, Serbia (3rd – 5th March 2017).
The UCD AC athlete will line up in the 1500m and will be keen to replicate the same level of performance that saw her collect Ireland’s only medal at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam last Summer – at the outdoor event, Ciara won her first European senior medal in the 1500m, narrowly missing silver in an epic finish.
Since then the Portaferry woman, who has an indoor 1500m best of 4:08.66 (2016), has reached the Olympic Games 1500m semi-final and more recently saw off top opposition, including Fionnuala McCormack, to win the AAI National Senior Indoor 3,000m title. Last weekend, Ciara produced a confidence boosting 2:03.73 over 800m to win the Leinster Championships.
Ciara will be joined on the strong Irish team by fellow NI athletes Kerry O’Flaherty (Coach: Richard Rogers) and Ben Reynolds (Coach: Tom Reynolds). City of Lisburn AC’s Amy Foster (Coach: David Reid) was selected, but has unfortunately withdrawn.
Rio Olympian Kerry O’Flaherty has been in excellent form of late. Two weeks ago, in a hectic week of competition, the Newcastle AC athlete clocked a new indoor 1500m personal best of 4:14.63 at the AIT Grand Prix, ran a new 3k road best of 9:19 in Armagh and sealed the AAI National Senior Indoor 1500m title.
Experienced international Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) could face a gruelling day of racing on Day 1 of the Championships, with his 60m hurdles Round 1, Semi-Final and Final all scheduled for Friday 3rd March 2017. However, the Northern Ireland record holder will not mind if he goes all the way to the final. His recent efforts over the 60m hurdles has brought a 7.87secs finish for 5th place at the British Athletics Grand Prix in Birmingham and a 7.83secs run for gold at the AAI National Senior Indoor Championships. Ben will more than likely have to better his personal best of 7.73secs if he wants to make the final.
Timetable (Times are GMT):
Day 1 (Friday 3rd March 2017):
Ben Reynolds (60m hurdles): Round 1 – 12:20hrs, Semi-Final – 15:45hrs and Final 19:10hrs
Ciara Mageean and Kerry O’Flaherty (1500m): Round 1 – 16:05hrs
Day 2 (Saturday 4th March 2017):
Ciara Mageean and Kerry O’Flaherty (1500m): Final – 18:45hrs
The full Ireland team for the European Athletics Indoor Championships is: Phil Healy (Bandon AC) - 60m & 400m, Ciara Neville (Emerald AC) - 60m, Sinead Denny (DSD AC) - 400m, Ciara Mageean (UCD AC) - 1500m, Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC) - 1500m, Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) - 400m, Zak Curran (DSD AC) 0 800m, John Travers (Donore Harriers) - 1500m, Tomas Cotter (Dunleer AC) - 3,000m, Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) - 60m hurdles. Team Manager: Patsy McGonagle
Source - NiRunning