Mageean targets Irish Indoor Championships
25 February 2016
Multi Irish middle distance record holder Ciara Mageean takes to the boards once more in this weekend's GloHealth Irish Indoors Championships in Athlone where she is entered for both the 800 and 1,500 metres events.
The 23 year old Portaferry woman is as yet undecided as to which event she will compete in coming directly after her recent eye catching performances which produced Irish records at 1,500 metres in Germany and the Mile in New York. It is highly unlikely further records will be in the offing at Athlone given Ciara's inevitable travel weariness plus the lack of a pacemaker at a Championship meeting.
Her easiest event is probably the 800 metres where she will face fellow Lisburn AC athlete Kelly Neely and QUB's Katie Kirk. Ciara has a minimum 2 secs advantage here in best times this year. There is a bigger time gap in the 1,500 metres where her main opposition could be Newbridge's Rose Anne Galligan who is now qualified to compete in next month's World Indoors in Portland.
Defending 1,500m champion Kerry O'Flaherty of Newcastle is also entered but she will only take a decision about competing after her 3,000 metres race. There she faces tough opposition from recent Armagh road race winner Sara Treacy and Letterkenny's Anne Marie McGlynn.
NI athletes were firm favourites to win both 60 metres sprints titles but Lisburn's Amy Foster has decided to end her season to concentrate on possible qualification for this summer's Olympics in Rio. This leaves Ballymena's Jonathan Browning who will be disappointed if he doesn't secure his first Senior Indoor title. His recent winning time of 6.80 secs to take the Irish Universities title was just enough to edge out arch rival Craig Lynch of Shercock.
Belfast man Adam McMullen is hotly tipped to successfully defend his long jump title particularly following his recent PB jump of 7.83 metres in Gent. North Down's 60 metres hurdler Ben Reynolds should also make light work of the opposition in his first outing of the year following injury.
Northern athletes will be strongly represented in the 400 metres. North Down's Andrew Mellon will fancy his chances over Zak Irwin after his recent bronze medal in the British Universities in a PB of 47.82 secs. In the Women's event Ballymena title holder Christine McMahon will be pressed hard despite her recent good time of 54.82 secs. She faces the highly talented Jenna Bromell who recently set an Irish Junior record of 54.19 secs.