Commonwealth Games: Leon Reid books his place in 200m final… and more!
Leon Reid surged into Thursday evening’s men’s 200 metres final at the Commonwealth Games and then set his sights on bolting onto the podium.
The Northern Ireland sprinter, aged 23, eased into second place behind Trinidad’s Jereem Richards in his semi-final for a time of 20.61 seconds, qualifying him sixth-fastest with England’s Zharnel Hughes also progressing.
“I managed to come through in the end and I’m ready to go now,” he said. “I held my position and got the job done. I’ll now approach it the same as any other race. I’ll recover and go again.
“I’m happy. My mum is here. My family is here. I’m glad they were able to see it, especially on this night when there is nearly a full house. I was thinking ‘I’m going to leave everything on the track.’ This was my final.”
Amy Foster came eighth in the women’s 200m semis in 24.02 seconds to conclude her second event at these Games.
And the 29-year-old from Newtownards revealed Gold Coast is set to be her third and last Commonwealth appearance.
“As much as I intend to go onto 2020 and give myself a chance to go to the Olympics, I don’t believe I’ll be around in 2022 so this was a farewell to the Commonwealth Games,” she said.
“But I definitely want to try for Tokyo. I wasn’t close in 2016 and I thought I didn’t want to put myself through it again. But last year was one of the best seasons I’ve had so I want to go for this summer and take the Irish (100m) record for myself.”
Meanwhile the teen whose 12th birthday fell on the 12/12/12 isn’t she isn’t in Gold Coast simply to make up the numbers when the heptathlon begins on Thursday.
Coming up at the Commonwealth Games…
Kate O’Connor, the youngest member of Northern Ireland’s athletics team, squares off against recently-crowned world indoor champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson in seven events over two days at Carrara Stadium.
And after coming eighth at last year’s European Under-20 Championships before even turning 18, the highly-rated prospect – who already holds Irish senior records – wants to step up on the stage.
“I would like to perform to the best of my ability,” she said. “It will be a complete learning experience for me. And the experience I gain from this will be invaluable.”
Another 17-year-old one to watch, Sommer Lecky, also opens up early on Thursday in high jump qualifying – less than a year after landing gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas.
The prospect from Co. Tyrone, currently studying for her A-Levels, is following in the footsteps of father Adrian who is a talented long jumper in his pomp. And this will be an opportunity to test myself on another level, she said.
“I am looking forward to competing against senior athletes from around the Commonwealth,” Lecky declared. “I’d like to compete to the best of my ability.”
Full results from the Commonwealth Games can be found HERE.
A schedule for Athletics NI athletes can be found HERE.