Commonwealth Games: Emma Mitchell sets new NI record as athletes compete in Gold Coast!
Emma Mitchell (QUB AC) smashed her own Northern Ireland record in the 10,000 metres final at the Commonwealth Games to finish 15th on her international championship debut (Monday 9th April 2017).
The 24-year-old from Banbridge was well on pace for a personal best at half-way but had to run solo in the closing stages before ending as the first competitor from the UK through the line in a time of 32:49.91 as Uganda’s Stella Chesang stuck gold.
“I’m very happy,” she said. “It’s the fastest I’ve ever ran. When these girls put their foot down and began to pull away, it was hard to go with that. I had to keep mentally strong. I had to put in work to catch people and maintain my form from training and keep that belief. But I’m happy to get that Northern Irish record.”
Mitchell will now confer with her coach Eamonn Christie before deciding whether to contest the 5,000m later this week but hinted she would relish another appearance at Gold Coast 2018.
“The atmosphere was fantastic out there,” she said. “And I’d love to come back. But I’ll speak to my coach and decide about Saturday. But I have to be happy with that and I loved it out there.”
Emma was one of four local stars in action today – Monday 9th April 2018.
Ciara Mageean wants to make an impression in Tuesday’s 1500 metres final after booking her place on Monday amid a strong field at Carrara Stadium.
Northern Ireland’s team captain claimed sixth place in 4:07.78 in a semi-final won by Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya, qualifying as one of the fastest-losers.
“I put myself in the race and I think I ran a tactically strong race,” Mageean said. “I knew there were going to be fast girls out there. The 1500m is stacked so I had to put myself in the right position.”
Now for the final, where the 2016 European bronze medallist will be one of a strong UK contingent looking to follow Semenya’s lead. “I’m going to do the same thing I do in every race,” Mageean said. “I’m going to go out there and run my best so I can walk off the track happy.”
Jack Agnew insists he’s got plenty left in reserve after rolling into Wednesday’s T54 1500 metres final (11:50am BST).
The 18-year-old para junior world champion from Belfast eased through by coming fifth in his semi on Monday morning in Gold Coast in a time of 3:13.78 with England’s Rich Chiassaro setting a Games record in victory.
“We’d watched the first semi and I sussed out what time I needed to get into the final,” Agnew said. “I definitely think there’s more. It’s not about times, it’s about where you come.
“So I was pretty happy with the performance. We’d watched the first semi and I sussed out what time I needed to get into the final. I definitely think there’s more. It’s not about times, it’s about where you come. It’s going to be a tactical race but that’s the fun part.
Ben Reynolds narrowly missed out on a spot in the 110m hurdles final, finishing fourth in his heat in 13.70 secs to end up as the ninth-quickest in the overall times.
“I tapped hurdle seven and from there on, I really had to dig deep,” he admitted.
“I didn’t really put together a nice race, it was ok. And there was the heat as well. I came out and had to drench myself in water. I came out with a nice energy. It was just about putting a race together and if I do that, come the summer, I know now I’ll be in personal best shape.”
You can keep up to date with the Athletics NI team’s Commonwealth Games schedule HERE.