HURDLERS MARRS AND REYNOLDS LAND WORLD INDOOR ATHLETICS SELECTION
23 February 2018
Rising Northern Irish athlete Megan Marrs will make her major championship debut in Birmingham next week after being called into the Great Britain and Northern Ireland squad for the IAAF world indoor championships.
The 20-year-old prospect set a personal best of 8.16 seconds to claim her first UK title in the 60 metres hurdles at last weekend’s Spar British Indoor Championships at Arena Birmingham.
Already a GB&NI junior internationalist, Marrs – who is now based in Loughborough and coached by veteran Polish specialist Jerzy Maciukiewicz - was originally 0.02 secs outside the automatic qualifying standard.
But British Athletics have accepted an IAAF invite for the City of Lisburn AC junior to join Marilyn Nwawulor in the field for the women’s 60m hurdles, which begins on Friday 2 March, taking the size of the British team to 32.
And she will now get a high-profile tune-up in Sunday’s televised Muller Indoor Grand Prix at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.
"I am absolutely delighted with my selection,” Marrs said “It was entirely unexpected. I am now looking forward to the world indoors and hope that I can do myself justice both in Glasgow and in Birmingham.”
It is the first time that a Northern Irish athlete has gained recognition at senior championship level for GB&NI since the selection of Larne's 800 metres runner James McIlroy for the world indoors in Valencia back in 2008.
And among the other late additions to the Birmingham field, there was a boost for Ben Reynolds who has been added to Ireland’s squad for the world indoors – also in the 60m hurdles.
It will be a second appearance at the global showpiece for the 27-year-old from Belfast who was a semi-finalist when the event was held in Istanbul in 2012.
The inclusion of Reynolds – who will compete for NI at April’s Commonwealth Games - makes it three athletes from Northern Ireland in the Ireland line-up, joining previously-selected Ciara Mageean (1500m) and sprinter Amy Foster (60m).
Commenting on today’s additions, Athletics NI’s Director of Coaching and Athlete Development Jackie Newton said: "We look forward to the performances of all four Northern Ireland athletes for the World Indoors.
“Megan who was closely supported in Northern Ireland via our Youth Academy for three years prior to her move to Loughborough has made excellent progress through the junior ranks. We are also delighted to hear that Ben has been added to the Irish team and congratulate both on their selections .”
Adam McMullen, the Irish indoor long jump champion, has also been added to the field for Sunday’s Grand Prix in Glasgow.