Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring TD and the Mayor of Fingal Cian O’Callaghan yesterday announced details of the Morton Pre-Games International Track and Field Meet, taking place this July.
The Morton Pre-Games International Track and Field event is Dublin’s only International Track and Field Athletics Meeting in 2012. It will take place in the Morton Stadium Santry, Co. Dublin on Wednesday 25 July.
This announcement follows the recent news that Athletics Ireland’s bid to host the European Team Track and Field Championship first league in 2013 has been successful.
Minister Ring and Mayor O’Callaghan were joined by international Irish athlete Mark Kenneally, who this Thursday travels to Helsinki to take part in the European 10,000 metres, before representing Ireland in the Men’s Marathon at the London Olympics on August 12th.
Minister Ring said: ‘The event will be the premier track and field meet in Dublin this year and will provide a great opportunity for the Irish public to see some of our Olympians and Paralympians in action. It’s also an excellent send-off for everyone competing at the London Games. We can all take a sense of honour and pride from the achievements of our elite athletes. The hard work, commitment and dedication behind their success serves to inspire, encourage and raise our spirits. I wish all the participants at the Morton Pre-Games the very best of luck in their efforts. I am sure everyone involved will enjoy the event and for those who travel here for the event, I hope they enjoy a very happy Irish experience and a céad mile failte’.
Cian O’Callaghan, Mayor of Fingal said: “As Mayor of Fingal County Council I would like to strongly welcome the hosting of the Morton Pre- Olympic Games. There is a proud history of field and track games at Morton Stadium and I am delighted that Fingal County Council has been able to support the hosting of this prestigious international sporting event. After the successful visit of the Olympic Flame to Ireland, and its arrival in my hometown of Howth, it is entirely appropriate that this event is taking place in Fingal. Events like this have numerous benefits including the promotion of Ireland on the world stage. In particular I would like to commend the volunteers of Clonliffe Harriers and the Director of the Morton Meet, Noel Guiden for their outstanding work in organising this international event.”
Director of the Morton Meet, Noel Guiden said: “Over the years the Morton mile has continued to attract the world`s best middle distance athletes, names such as John Walker, Steve Scott, Steve Ovett, Eamonn Coghlan, Frank O`Mara, Marcus O`Sullivan, Ray Flynn and Niall Bruton. Whilst in modern times finances simply dictate against attracting Olympic and World Champions the Morton Mile has consistently attracted truly wonderful athletes, the most recent winners were Will Leer (USA) in 2010 and last year Jordan McNamara (USA) who proved to be one of the most charismatic milers ever to entertain a Morton Stadium crowd. The Morton Mile on July 25th will be equally exciting and entertaining.”
The Morton Pre-Games is expected to attract upwards of 150 athletes for a full programme of track and field. In addition to the Morton Mile, events include men and women’s 100m, men’s 400m hurdles, top class 800m races for men and women, the Albie Thomas 3,000m, pole vault, long jump and more. The event organisers have already received expressions of interest to take part from athletes from countries including the US, Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Latvia, Jamaica, the UK as well as Ireland.
Last year’s feature Morton Mile resulted in seven athletes running the mile under the four minute barrier, led by US athlete Jordan McNamara and including Cork’s Ciaran O’Lionaird who went sub-four for the first time. Ciaran O’Lionaird will compete for Ireland in this year’s London Olympics in the 1500m.