Update from IAAF World Indoor Championships 2018 (by Athletics NI):
Ben Reynolds (North Down AC / Ireland) set his sights on shining at next month’s Commonwealth Games after exiting the World Indoor Championships in the heats of the 60 metres hurdles on Saturday night (3rd March 2018).
The 27-year-old from Holywood claimed 7th place in 7.89 seconds as the USA’s Jarrett Eaton took victory.
But the Northern Ireland international will now look for a few small improvements before lining up in the Gold Coast.
“I just have to get in personal shape. My PB is 13.48 secs. I need sub 13.5 and if you get that, at Commonwealths, you’re generally in the mix. I’ll go off now to prepare. I’ll lengthen my sessions and work on my starts. Transfer my pace through to 12-hurdle sessions.
“I thought after the Irish national championships, I’ll just focus on Commonwealths. Getting a spot here, it would have been better if I’d done something reasonable here but I didn’t. It’s about transferring my pace through.”
After the world indoors finish on Sunday night, the attention of the athletics world will turn to next month’s Commonwealths and even with sub-zero temperatures outside, Northern Ireland’s 12-strong athletics team have started to get used to the 30-degree heat expected in Australia – inside a special heat chamber in Belfast.
The high-tech tank, set up at the SportNI Institute of Sport’s base at Jordanstown, will allow competitors to work up a sweat so they don’t arrive at Gold Coast and burn out.
“We’ve had athletes this week training inside and it’s replicating the temperatures out there,” revealed Athletics NI’s director of coaching Jackie Newton. “It’s especially beneficial for our distance runners and it’s helping them get a head start for the Commonwealths.
“But most of our athletes will leave on March 20 for a training camp out there. We’ve been told by our physiologists that two weeks is enough to get used to the heat out there so they should have more than enough time.”
Co. Down’s Laura Graham was forced into a frenetic detour to London today (Saturday) in a bid to earn a late berth in Ireland’s team for this month’s IAAF world half-marathon championships in Valencia.
The mum-of-four was due to chase the qualifying mark at the Bath Half Marathon but, with the race postponed, officials landed her a last-minute entry into tomorrow morning’s Vitality Big Half, where Mo Farah will top the bill.
“It’s not the best preparation but Laura is the kind of athlete that can overcome that and do well,” Newton added