QUB AC’s Emma Mitchell records impressive 3,000m personal best in Dublin (article by BBC Sport NI):
Emma Mitchell continued her superb 2017 campaign by producing her fastest ever 3,000m in Dublin on Thursday night. The Queen’s University student finished ahead of Fionnuala Britton as she clocked 9:04 to cut seven seconds off her best but it won’t be recognised as it was a ‘mixed’ race.
Emma will be back in action on Saturday when she defends her Northern Ireland & Ulster 10k title in Belfast.
The Eamonn Christie coached athlete set her previous fastest 3,000m time of 9:11.89 in Belfast last May but Thursday’s race was indoors at the National Sports Campus in Dublin.
The Banbridge woman’s time equates to a sub-nine minute run outdoors and her performance is unlikely to do her prospects of Commonwealth Games selection any harm.
Mitchell’s rivals in the Joe Seeley Cup event are expected to include in-form marathon star Laura Graham and another top long distance exponent Gladys Ganiel-O’Neill.
City of Derry’s John-Paul Williamson will defend the men’s title in Belfast but Kenyan-born Gideon Kipsang will go in as favourite after a series of recent impressive road running performances on the local scene.
Some exceptionally close racing looks likely in Sunday’s Irish Cross Country Championships at Abbotstown.
After missing out his scheduled marathon challenge at the World Championships in London, Pollock returned to racing with a solid 29:20 for 10K in Leeds earlier this month.
However, the men’s field looks strong with another Commonwealth Games hopeful Derry Track Club’s Adam Kirk-Smith and Stephen Scullion among an entry list which includes Raheny duo Kevin Rooney and Mick Clohisey plus Joe Sweeney and Kilkenny’s Eoin Everard.
Last year’s winner Shona Heaslip will go in as women’s favourite after a couple of impressive recent runs while Kerry O’Flaherty’s other rivals are likely to include Leevale duo Michelle Finn and Lizzie Lee plus Laura Crowe, Maria McCambridge and Linda Byrne.
O’Flaherty was runner-up behind Heaslip last year and a top-two finish in the senior races will guarantee selection for next month’s European Championships in the Slovakian town of Samorin.