Irish Life AAI National Masters Indoor Championships 2018:
Runners from Northern Ireland enjoyed a successful trip to the AIT Arena in Athlone this weekend (Saturday 10th March 2018), returning with no less than 13 gold medals – there were also numerous other medal winning and personal best performances on what was an excellent day of competition.
Kelly Neely (City of Lisburn AC) and Derry Track Club duo Cathal McLaughlin and Robert Bigger were the pick of the bunch, after they produced double gold medal winning performances.
Much was expected of former Masters World Champion Kelly and she delivered with two classy performances. In the 3,000m, the Vet35 star recorded 9:28.02 (1st place) to win by over forty seconds. Then, lining up in the 1500m, Kelly broke the beam in 4:53.12 for 1st place.
There was 800m and 1500m double victories for DTC men Cathal and Robert. In the Vet50 category, decorated athlete Cathal clocked 2:12.48 for 1st place in the 800m and 4:30.59 for 1st place in the 1500m. Meanwhile, in the Vet60 competition, Robert took 1st place in the 800m with 2:26.70 and 1st place in the 1500m in 5:09.28.
Denise Toner (Clones AC) won the Vet35 800m in 2:20.08 (1st place), before adding a silver medal in the 1500m, were she finished as runner up to Kelly Neely in 4:58.11 (2nd place). It was a similar story for North Belfast Harriers man David Clarke. The Larne man won his Vet55 1500m in 5:03.64 (1st place) and took 2nd place and the associated silver medal over 800m in 2:21.14.
Orangegrove AC athlete Emma Smith impressed over the 60m hurdles, winning her Vet40 category in 10.74secs (1st place).
There were four gold medals for local athletes in the 60m competition: Pat Logan (St Annes AC) won the Vet55 race in 8.14secs (1st place), while Patrick Forbes (Mid Ulster AC) took the Vet75 title in 9.35secs (1st place). Ever-green City of Derry AC athlete Frank Stewart won the Vet80 gold in 25.26secs. Well respected Northern Ireland Masters Athletic Association athlete Anne Magure (St Annes AC) won her Vet70 60m in 12.00secs.
There were many other notable performances, including silver and bronze medals, and personal bests, for Northern Ireland based runners. Full results for the event can be found HERE.
Photo by Sam Barnes / Sportsfile for Athletics Ireland.