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Local Athletes sign up for the Belfast International Meet

16 June 2017

Local Athletes sign up for the Belfast International Meet

Dempsey McGuigan (www.sport24:lefigaro.fr)

Want to be in with the chance to compete in an International Competition? Well now you can. However, you will need to be quick with only three weeks out the sprints, jumps and throws fields are starting to fill up. The Mary Peters Track will again host the Belfast International Meet on Wednesday 5th July 2017.

Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim) and Dempsey McGuigan (Finn Valley) are encouraging local athletes to register their interest to compete against international athletes at the Belfast International. 2016 European 400mH Semi-Finalist Christine McMahon (PB 56.06/Ian Neely) will be taking to the start line for her 4th Belfast International race. The final race of the evening promises to be a thriller as Christine will be up against some of the best 400m hurdlers, Turquoise Thompson, USA (PB 54.99), Jean-Marie Senekal, South Africa (PB 57.68) and Ese Okoro, England (PB 56.67) with three athletes sub 57 seconds and a further two in the 57 to 58 second range.

2017 NI & Ulster sprint double champion Leon Reid (PB 10.33/James Hillier) will headline the men’s sprint event with multiple Paralympic Gold Medallist and Northern Irish record holder Jason Smyth (PB 10.22). Both athletes will face strong opposition from Josh Swaray, Senegal (PB 10.20), Australia’s Michael Konomanyi (PB 10.57) , Adam Thomas (10.41) and Cameron Tindle (PB 10.42), Scotland, Anax Da Silva (PB 10.41) and James Griffiths (PB 10.44), Wales and Ireland’s Craig Lynch (PB 10.64). The 100m field currently has seven athletes with PBs of 10.44 or faster.

Northern Ireland and Ireland’s Dempsey McGuigan (PB 70.55m/John Smith) will take on no less than four 70m throwers. Dempsey has impressed this year, exceeding the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games standard on multiple occasions and recently finishing in the top 10 of the prestigious NCAA Championships. The Finn Valley athlete may not have things all his own way as he battles some of the best athletes from the UK mainland including Commonwealth hopefuls Mike Bomba, England (PB 70.90m) and Scotland’s Andy Frost (PB 72.79m).

Jackie Newton, Director of Coaching and Athlete Development, stated: “We have had a fabulous last few weeks with nine of our athletes achieving the consideration standards for the 2018 Commonwealth Games and others that are very close. We decided to take this opportunity to invite overseas athletes who are at a level that will push our athletes to even better performances. We are now very much looking forward to seeing them in action on the 5th of July.”

General Secretary of Athletics Northern Ireland, John Allen, said: “This is a fantastic event for everyone involved and provides an opportunity to showcase one of the Country’s top athletics arenas. Taking place at the start of the track & field season the Belfast International Athletics Meet will offer fans an opportunity see world-class athletes compete at the home of Athletics in Northern Ireland ahead of the Games. John Allen continued “The Mary Peters Track is a world class standard venue that is open to the whole athletics community, catering to all levels of the sport from school children and club athletes to those training to compete at an international level.”

To express your interest for Sprints, Jumps and Throws, and to see the full list of events on offer, visit www.athleticsni.org/Fixtures/Belfast-International-Athletics-Meet