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Athletics : Irish team for World Indoor championships

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 2:21 pm    Post subject: Athletics : Irish team for World Indoor championships Reply with quote

by Michael O'Neill

Athletics Ireland has today announced Derval O’Rourke (Leevale) as part of a small but quality team for the World Track and Field Championships which take places in Istanbul from the 9th to the 11th of March.

The Cork woman has not lined up in the World Indoors since she won the championships back in 2006, setting an Irish Record of 7.84 which still stands today. O’Rourke’s preparation for these championships has not been ideal with a slight foot niggle curtailing her planned racing schedule.

Her season’s best of 8.16 places her well down the World rankings, however, she is a renowned championship athlete who views this competition as a key stepping stone towards her ultimate target this year the London Olympic Games.

Club-mate Ciaran O’ Lionaird who placed 10th at World Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Daegu last August will line up in the Men’s 1500m. O’Lionaird is in confident mood having recorded a personal best of 3:54.76 in the mile at the USA Track and Field Classic, the eighth fastest in the world this year.

Speaking about the championship he said: “It’s a great honour to represent Ireland at a global event again. I think the competition will be really tough but my preparation has gone very well but I need to be tactically aware in order to make sure I progress to the final. I am hoping to improve on my placing from Daegu and gain more experience for London.”

Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) will receive his first Irish cap after hitting the standard of 7.74 to break his U23 Irish Indoor 60m Hurdles Record at the International Flanders Athletics Meeting in Belgium earlier in the month.

Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) also dipped under the qualification standard of 46.90 in the 400m when setting a personal best of 46.66 at the same meet. However the European U23 Silver medallist has made the decision not to compete in order to now turn his focus on training and preparation for the European Track and Field Championships which take place in Helsinki in late June.

David McCarthy (West Waterford AC) has also achieved the standard in the 1500m but will not be travelling as he will be competing for the Providence College at the NCAA Indoor Championships.

Kevin Ankrom Athletics Ireland High Performance Director said “For the likes of Derval, Ciaran, and Ben this is the beginning of a long season and just one piece of the overall building process towards London. At any championship we are looking for our athletes to compete at a high level and it will be a litmus test of their programme and a great opportunity to compete against other world class competitors.”

Team Selection
Derval O’Rourke (Leevale AC) 60m Hurdles
Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) 60m Hurdles
Ciaran O’ Lionaird (Leevale AC) 1500m
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