REYNOLDS TARGETS EUROPEAN SELECTION WHILE MAGEEAN SEEKS FAST 800 METRES TIME IN NI CHAMPS
15 June 2016
Rio Olympics bound middle distance star Ciara Mageean will race over 800 metres in this Sunday's NI and Ulster Senior Championships at the Mary Peters Track which also incorporate the U18-U20 Age Group (finals from 1 pm).The meeting will also feature hurdler Ben Reynolds who will have his sights firmly on qualification for next month's European Championships in Amsterdam.
Portaferry's Mageean who races sparingly is seeking a fast 800 metres time in preparation for her challenges over 1,500 metres in Rio. If she succeeds in gaining the services of a pacemaker a NI record may be in the offing as it is only half a second faster than Ciara's PB time of 2 mins 2.31 secs set at Upper Malone almost 5 years ago. The in- form 24 year old will have Lisburn AC team mate Kelly Neely and QUB's Katie Kirk as useful opposition.
The meeting is of critical importance to high hurdler Reynolds who has had a frustrating season resulting in Sunday being his first outdoor race of the season. The European qualification mark of 13.90 secs should be well within the Holywood man's grasp particularly given his PB set at this track of 13.49 secs. He will face good opposition in the form of Birchfield's Jake Porter and Ireland's Gerard O'Donnell.
The race of the day is likely to be the Men's 400 metres where double European champion David Gillick will be stretched to secure victory. His season's best of 47.24 secs is in fact slower than favourite Craig Lynch of Shercock who set new figures last weekend of 47.04 secs. Added to the mix are QUB's Andrew Mellon (47.48 secs) plus Ireland's Chris O'Donnell (48.07secs).
North Down's Adam McComb has chosen not to go for a 4th victory in this event and will instead race over 200 metres. Ballymena's Jonathan Browning should take the Men's 100 metres following his recent season's best of 10.72 secs.
The Women's 100 metres is likely to see a new champion in the form of Cork's Joan Healy who is ranked 3rd fastest in the Irish list with 11.64 secs.
Belfast's Adam McMullan should be able to easily defend his long jump title and will be aiming to improve on his PB jump of 7.84 metres last month which is close to the difficult European standard of 7 .95 metres.
In the big meeting in Lucerne Olympic qualified steeplechaser Kerry O'Flaherty recorded a time of 9 mins 59.76 secs for 5th place behind Rio team mate Sarah Treacy who was 3rd in 9.56.81.