NI & Ulster Athletes Depart for Combined Events International & England Age Group Championships
03 August 2018
Five NI and Ulster Athletes have departed to take on the best of the UK’s combined events athletes in Sport City, Manchester this weekend.
Heptathletes Sarah Connolly (Senior) and Naomi Morgan (U23) will represent NI & Ulster in the International Match against England, Scotland & Wales whilst Niamh McCorry (Heptathlon), Ethan Williamson & Troy McConville (Decathlon) will compete in the England Athletics U17 Combined Events Championships. Healthy entry figures reflect the strength of multi event athletics in the UK.
Athlete Development Lead Tom Reynolds explained; “The Combined Events International will be a regular fixture for NI & Ulster in coming years and we will work towards fielding a full team of 8 athletes in future. High quality competition opportunities are essential for our emerging athletes as we look towards strengthening the Athlete Development Pathway and increasing the numbers of athletes successfully transitioning from U17 to U20, U23 and senior age groups.”
Similar to the recent Welsh U20 International & upcoming Manchester Senior International where NI & Ulster will field close to thirty athletes in two weeks time, this competition is an opportunity for athletes to improve performance behaviours that will prepare them for future major championships.
Team Leader Laura Kerr explained; “Our recent strategic focus on delivering a multi event approach to developing youth athletes has increased the number of physically and technically competent young athletes capable of competing in combined events. Seventeen year old Kate O’Connor’s 8th place finish at the Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast demonstrated that Northern Ireland are currently well placed to support combined event athletes to progress to major championships. Research has also shown that young athletes who compete in combined events as juniors are more likely to be retained in the sport as a senior high performer e.g Dafne Schippers, Karsten Worholm, David Rudisha, Morgan Lake & Ben Reynolds.”
“Increasing the number of high quality competition opportunities for NI & Ulster Athletes will be essential in preparing athletes and their coaches for the physical and mental challenge of delivering their best performances over two intense days of competition. Ahead of this weekend’s competition we will be working with these five athletes on performance routines, time management and competition preparation specific to combined events. It is essential for heptathletes and decathletes to carefully plan their time and recovery strategies and working effectively with their personal coaches and team staff will be essential. Competing in 7 or 10 events will often bring highs and lows and we will be encouraging our athletes to manage their emotions to conserve energy between events. ”
Start lists and results can be found here