08 August 2018


South Belfast's Stephen Scullion battles Europe's best in the 10,000 metres final at last night’s European Championships in Berlin.  

Scullion and Boyce struggle with Berlin Heat 

South Belfast's Stephen Scullion had a torrid time in the 10,000 metres final at last night’s European Championships in Berlin. The 29-year-old made a bold attempt to stay with the top half of the field and at the half way stage reached in 14 mins 27 secs he was en-route to his second-best time. However, the 30 plus degree temperatures and humidity eventually took their toll and he ended up with a time of 29 mins 46.87 secs which is over a minute outside his PB earlier this year.

Stephen will however learn from this experience as he has in fact enjoyed one of his best seasons’ ever. The race was won by France's Morad Amdouni in a relatively slow 28:11.22.

In the Men's 50K Walk Finn Valley's Brendan Boyce started impressively and was 8th at the 35k Mark. Unfortunately, the plus 30 degrees temperature took its toll and he finished 19th in 4 hrs 2 mins 14 secs.

Today's (Wednesday) events feature NI Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Leon Reid in the 200 metres. The 24-year-old was one of the 15 fastest in these Champs who was given automatic entry into the semi- finals.

The competition here is cut throat but Leon has come to Berlin in top shape with another recent NI record of 20.27 secs under his belt. He will therefore be very disappointed if he does not make tomorrow's final.

QUBs Emma Mitchell also competes in the final of the 10,000 metres. This is an event in which she broke her own NI record in April's Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.


Combined Events International & England Age Group Championships

Five athletes travelled to Manchester at the weekend to compete in the Combined Events Home Countries International & Age Group Championships in Manchester to compete against England, Scotland and Wales.

Irish International Heptathlete, Sarah Connolly, was the highest placed athlete with a 5th place finish in the Senior Women’s Heptathlon and her third best career score of 4702. Troy McConville had an impressive 5 PBs in the U17 Men’s Decathlon, including a 13.86 100m Hurdles, on his way to 5th place with 5574, this despite failing to record a distance in the Javelin. Naomi Morgan, battled through an ankle niggle to post a season best of 4268 for 8th place in the Women's Heptathlon.

Two athletes undertook their first two-day combined events competition with Niamh McCorry, still U17 next year, finishing 8th in the U17 Women’s Heptathlon with 3926 and Youth Academy Athlete Ethan Williamson, who recorded impressive PBs in the HJ (1.74m) and Javelin 42.20m, finishing 13th with 5043.

Prior to the weekend, the team learned about recovery strategies between competition days and working effectively with their personal coaches and team staff at competitions. As always there were highs and lows over the two days and athletes were encouraged to manage their emotions to conserve energy between events. The Combined Events International will be a regular fixture for NI & Ulster in coming years and Athletics NI will work towards fielding a full team of 8 athletes in future.