European Athletics Championships 2018:
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist and Northern Ireland 200m record holder Leon Reid (Menapians AC / James Hillier) made the most impressive of debuts for Ireland as he booked his place in the European Athletics Championships 200m final earlier this evening (Wednesday 8th August 2018).
Up against World Champion Ramil Guliyev of Turkey, Leon held his own, coming off the bend with confidence and finishing comfortably in 20.38 (2nd place); this equalled his current NI record.
After the race, Leon spoke of his delight at wearing the Ireland vest for the first time after the long transfer saga which saw the England born NI man transfer from Great Britain & Northern Ireland to Ireland.
The 24-year-old took to social media to express his gratitude for the messages of support he has received, saying: “Fly the flag high tonight, we go again tomorrow. Thanks for all the messages! I do see them all and appreciate every single one.”
Leon’s 200m final will take place tomorrow (Thursday 9th August 2018) at 20:05hrs (BST).
Also in Berlin tonight, Northern Ireland 5,000m and 10,000m record holder Emma Mitchell (QUB AC / Eamonn Christie) braved tough conditions in the famous Olympic Stadium. In high temperatures, the endurance specialist recorded 34:08.61 for 17th place in the 10,000m.
Some unfortunate news coming from Athletics Ireland today was an announcement that Northern Ireland based athletes Ben Reynolds (North Down AC / Tom Reynolds) and Laura Graham (Mourne Runners / Ryan Maxwell) have been withdrawn from their respective 110m hurdles and marathon events due to injury.
Top hurdler Ben has a lower back issue while AAI National Marathon Champion Laura picked up an Achilles injury last week.
Full results from the European Athletics Championships 2018 are available HERE.