The athletes have already started arriving in Santry in North Dublin in advance of tomorrow night’s eagerly anticipated Morton Games International Track and Field Meet. Early arrivals include top U.S. athlete and world 1500 metre bronze medallist Matthew Centrowitz, Emma Coburn, Shalaya Kipp, all three being members of the U.S. Olympic team, Canadian Olympians Melissa Bishop and Jessica Smith. Later today these Olympians will be joined by another ten Olympians who will make up an overseas entry for the 2012 Morton Games of in excess of 60 athletes.
There will be numerous highlights on the night including the Morton Mile itself where there are more than a dozen sub four minute milers including Ireland’s Ciaran O’Lionaird (Leevale AC) in advance of travelling to London for the Olympic Games and Australian Olympian Ryan Gregson. Other athletes who will line up in the Morton Mile include Garrett Heath (USA) 3rd in the Wanamaker Mile, Silas Kisorio (KEN) 4th in that Wanamaker Mile. Will Leer (USA) the winner of the 2010 Morton Mile, Irish sub-four minute milers John Coghlan (M.S.B AC) and Paul Robinson (St. Coca’s AC).
The Women’s Mile includes six athletes making their final preparations in advance of the Olympic Games – from Australia Zoe Buckman may well be the favourite. Also lining up in the Mile is Tereza Capkova (CZE), Emma Coburn and Shalaya Kipp – both members of the U.S. Olympic team.
The Men’s 400 metres will feature Irish U/23 silver medallist from 2011 Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers AC) of the host club Clonliffe Harriers and one of the world’s best athletes Nick Symmonds (USA) as he runs his first ever ‘pro 400’ and Olympic bound Oman athlete Ahmed Al-Mirjabi.
The Men’s 400 metre Hurdles will feature an intriguing battle between four Irish and four British athletes – the British athletes includes top hurdler Nathan Woodward, an athlete who actually achieved the Olympic ‘A’ standard, however, such is the strength of British hurdling that he was only fourth fastest and, therefore, misses out on the London Games. The top three in this years National Championships also line up, Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC), Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) and Paul Byrne (St. Abbans AC).
Such was the level of interest in the Women’s 800 metre races that the field has been split evenly into two top class races, Olympians Melissa Bishop and Jessica Smith from Canada will tow the line along with Gemma Simpson (GBR), Jane Jelegat (KEN), Katie Mackey (U.S.A.) and Gabrielle Anderson (U.S.A). The Irish challengers will include Orla Drumm and an athlete always to keep an eye on is young Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner (DSD).
With athletes from all over the world: U.S.A., Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany, Bahamas, Kenya, Liberia and Oman the 2012 Morton Games is a true International Track and Field Meet.
The international programme will open at 7.15 p.m. on the night. Admission to the Morton Games is an extremely modest €5.00 for individuals or family admission at €10.00 for the whole family. Further details www.mortongames.ie