Emma Mitchell clocks new Northern Ireland 5,000m record:
Queen’s University AC athlete Emma Mitchell smashed the long standing Northern Ireland 5,000m record at last night’s British Milers Club Meeting in Solihull, England (Saturday 13th May 2017).
NI & Ulster 10k (Road) Champion Emma clocked 15:50.55 to secure 3rd place in the ladies 5,000m race won by Louise Small (Aldershot, Farnham & District AC) in 15:42.27 (1st place). The time was a mere eleven seconds outside of the Commonwealth Games 2018 consideration standard – a time that Emma will almost certainly go on to achieve.
Northern Ireland’s Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle AC) recorded 16:32.56 (7th place) in the same race; a fine effort considering the Olympian battled through a calf injury for the latter part of the race.
The previous NI record for the distance was held by multiple record holder Teresa Duffy since June 1996, when she ran 15:53.47 in France.
After the race, Emma told Athletics NI: “I’m delighted with my performance last night. To come away with a huge PB and a Northern Ireland record for my first 5000m of the season is fantastic! It gives me more confidence in working towards achieving the commonwealth standards.”
Emma’s coach, Eamonn Christie, add: “I’m delighted that such a great and long standing record has been broken. Theresa has been a life long friend of mine and was one of the first people to contact myself to congratulate both Emma and I.”
There was further Northern Ireland representation at the BMC Meet – In the 1500m races, up and coming athletes Fintan Stewart (City of Derry AC) and Jonathan Whan (City of Lisburn AC) narrowly missed sub 4 minute finishes, running 4:00.55 and 4:00.90 respectively. Ballymena Runners’ James Hamilton also showed some early season form with a 4:03.32 clocking, while Rachel Gibson (North Down AC) missed a personal best by just over one second when running 4:30.23.
In the 5,000m event, Ben Branagh (St Malachy’s AC) recorded a new personal best of 14:16.79. Conor Duffy (Glaslough Harriers) ran 14:38.71 and Chris Madden (City of Lisburn AC) covered the distance in 15:03.61.
Full results for the BMC Solihull Meeting are available HERE.
In other news…
In Waterford (Ireland), a host of Northern Ireland sprinting talent were in action at the Ton Le Goaithe Sprints Meeting. Commonwealth Games star Leon Reid (Menepians AC) picked up the athlete of the meet award after running 10.26 (4.0) and 10.27 (2.9) for 100m. Aaron Sexton (North Down AC) clocked 10.78 (2.9) and 10.80 (4.0), while City of Lisburn AC pair Christian Robinson and Gareth Thompson were similarly impressive, running 10.66 (2.9) and 10.92 (3.7) respectively.
Crusaders AC man Ben Maze ran 10.91 (3.8) for 100m and 22.25 (3.9) for 200m. In the 110m hurdles, Grabhan McKenna (Shercock AC) broke the beam in 15.14 (2.5) and was followed closely by North Down AC’s Tom Reynolds (15.73). Tom also recorded 11.74 (3.3) over 100m. City of Lisburn AC star Lauren Roy was in action over 100m and performed well, clocking 12.20 (3.6), while Laura Frey (Lagan Valley AC) took on the 100m and the 100m hurdles, running 13.22 (1.5) on the flat and 16.66 (3.9) over the jumps.
A special mention must also go to local long jumper Adam McMullen who recorded a Commonwealth Games consideration standard whilst competing at the Pure Athletics Elite Track & Field Meeting in Clermont, Florida (America).
Adam recorded 7.85m (0.4) to claim 1st place. He spoke to Athletics NI after the event, explaining: “I’m really happy to have achieved the qualifying mark this early in the season, it’s taken a lot of pressure off me now for the summer competitions. I’ve invested a lot into myself to get to Florida and compete and I’m really happy it’s paid off.”