Kerry O’Flaherty achieves CWG standard as local athletes impress on the track…

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Birthday girl Kerry O’Flaherty hits Commonwealth Games standard as local athletes impress at a number of track events!

Newcastle AC’s Kerry O’Flaherty celebrated her birthday by hitting the Commonwealth Games 2018 consideration standard whilst competing at the Memorial Rasschaert Meeting in Belgium (Saturday 15th July 2017).

The 36 year old Olympian narrowly missed the 3,000m Steeplechase standard of 9:54.00 when running 9:54.40 in Sweden earlier this week, but went over three seconds inside it when crossing the line in 9:50.75 tonight – this was enough to secure 3rd place in a high quality race won by Rima Chanah (Algeria) in 9:44.42 (1st place).

Kerry, who is coached by Richard Rodgers, is now the thirteenth local athlete to achieve a Gold Coast consideration standard.  The following athletes have all reached the standard:  Leon Reid (Birchfield Harriers / James Hillier), Kate O’Connor (St Gerard’s / Michael O’Connor), Mollie Courtney (Cheltenham AC / David Warner), Ben Reynolds (North Down AC / Tom Reynolds), Ciara Mageean (UCD AC / Jerry Kiernan), Adam Kirk-Smith (Woodford Green Essex / Tomaz Plibersek), Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley AC / Niall Wilkinson), Dempsey McGuigan (Finn Valley AC / John Smith), Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders / Andrew Hobdell), Emma Mitchell (QUB AC / Eamonn Christie), Adam McMullen (Crusaders AC / Alan Kennedy) and Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC / David Reid).

Elsewhere…

Local men Andrew Mellon (Crusaders AC / Brendan McConville) and Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim AC / Ian Neely) were part of the Ireland 4 x 400m team, alongside team mates Harry Purcell and Karl Griffin, who qualified for the European Under 23 Athletics Track & Field Championships final with 3:07.63 finish in the heats.  The final will take place tomorrow (Sunday 16th July 2017) at 18:15hrs,

At the Para World Athletics Championships, Michael McKillop (North Belfast Harriers / Paddy McKillop) has made it to the 800m final after winning his semi-final in 2:07.59 (1st place) – the final will take place on Sunday 16/7/17 at 20:15hrs.

A number of athletes from NI were also in action at the Le Cheile International Track & Field Meeting in Ireland (Saturday 15th July 2017).  Notably windy conditions seriously affected times, but there were several encouraging performances.

Springwell Running Club’s Neil Johnston (Mark Kirk) recorded a new 800m personal best of 1:54.8 to finish in 7th place in the ‘A’ race, while his training partner Johnny Foster (Annadale Striders / Mark Kirk) continued his progression and step up in performance when he again went under the 2 minute mark with a 1:59.8 (1st place) finish to win the 800m ‘C’ race.

North Down AC’s Rachel Gibson (Francis Marsh) and City of Lisburn AC’s Kelly Neely enjoyed a good battle in the ladies 800m ‘A’ race, with Rachel running 2:12.15 (6th place) and European Masters bound Kelly clocking 2:13.91 (7th place).  In the stacked 1500m ‘A’ race, Letterkenny AC’ Danny Mooney (Teresa McDaid) ran 3:48.2 for 6th place.  Full results from the event are available HERE.

At the SIAB International Track & Field Championships in Santry, Dublin (Saturday 15th July 2017), City of Lisburn AC’s Lauren Roy (Slemish College) was part of the Ireland 4x100m team who secured gold in 45.63 (1st place).  Another performance of note came in the field, where Kate O’Connor (St Vincent’s College) collected a gold medal in the Javelin after throwing 49.26m, a new Irish Youth record.  Kate also bettered the NI Under 18 Shot Putt record with a 14.63m effort.  Lauren, Kate and a number of other familiar faces from NI helped Ireland the 2nd place in the overall team competition – England took 1st place.  Full results from the event are available HERE.