Abbotstown set for thrilling curtain raiser


Abbotstown set for exciting curtain raiser

The Irish Life Health Indoor League Final and AAI Games are set to light up Abbotstown and the new Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena this weekend (February 4/5).

The Indoor League Final gets action underway on Saturday in what will the first athletics event proper in the new arena. Catherine McManus will be aiming to guide Dublin City Harriers to the women’s team title while Brian Gregan is listed as part of a crack squad for the Clonliffe Harriers men’s team.

Both teams look poised to win team titles but the tables could turn should a mishap happen on the track or the field.

Gregan and Mageean to highlight AAI Games

Brian Gregan is slated to compete in the 200m in the league final and then will compete in the 400m in the AAI Games. He will be looking to improve on his solo run debut where he clocked 47.07 seconds and a European indoor qualifying time. Also listed in the 400m is Zak Irwin (Sligo) who just fell short of victory in a pulsating U23 final last week.

Ciara Mageean (UCD) is set to make her indoor debut over 800m and will have an eye on the European indoor standard of 2:03.75 to make it two Irish women with the time. Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (DSD) achieved the time last week in the US with a school record of 2:02.97 for Villanova.

 Olympic steeplechaser Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle) will compete in the women’s 1500m. Emma Mitchell (Queen’s University) has been in excellent form this indoor season and will be looking to continue her fine form in the 3,000m. Saragh Buggy (St Abban’s) is another to have been in good early season form and she is in the triple jump.

Reynolds, O’Donnell eye Euro hurdles standard

Ben Reynolds (North Down) and Gerard O’Donnell (Carrick on Shannon) will be hoping to push each other to the European Indoor 60m hurdles standard of 7.80 seconds in a solid line-up. Adam McMullen (Crusaders) may fall shy of the tough 7.90m European standard for the long jump but will give it his all in the new arena.

The men’s 1500m features Kieran Kelly (Raheny Shamrock), Kevin McGrath (Bohermeen), John Travers (Donore Harriers) and James Brewer from England with 3:43.00 the all-important time for ticket to Belgrade and the European Indoor Athletics Championships. 

The live results link for the AAI Games is HERE

To view the European Indoor policy and qualifying standards click HERE

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