4 NI Athletes in Irish Team for Europeans in Belgrade

22 February 2017

Athletics Ireland has included 4 NI athletes in its 11-person squad to compete in the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Belgrade in 10 days’ time.

While 3 have been selected on the basis of their recent Irish indoor performances Lisburn AC's Amy Foster who is currently in Australia has been chosen as a result of her weekend's Commonwealth Games qualification time over 100 metres.

28-year-old Amy recorded a time of 11.42 secs in Canberra which is only 0.02 secs outside her NI record. However, while she is clearly running well a top performance over 60 metres will be required in Belgrade to beat Irish compatriot Ciara Neville of Emerald. The 17-year-old sensation recently equalled Anna Boyle's Irish 60 metres record of 7.30 secs.  

Ciara Mageean has decided to opt for the 1,500 metres event following her easy win in the weekend's Irish Championships over 3,000 metres. The 24-year-old European outdoor bronze medallist is clearly determined to do well in Serbia and will feel that anything less than a medal will be a disappointment. 

Ciara is joined in the metric mile by Newcastle's Kerry O'Flaherty who is running better than ever at the age of 35. A week ago, the Rio Olympics steeplechaser set a personal best time of 4 mins 14 .63 secs. She then followed this up with an easy victory in the Irish Championships.

Former World Indoors high hurdles semi-finalist Ben Reynolds was a convincing winner in the Championships. The North Down star has a season's best time of 7.77 secs which he could beat in Belgrade assuming a perfect technique.

 The other team members are;

400 metres-Philomena Healey and Sinead Denny

400 metres-Brian Gregan

800 metres-Zak Curran

1,500 metres-John Travers

3,000 metres-Thomas Cotter