Alistair Cragg Confirms Intention to
Compete at European Indoors
2 February 2005
Fresh from his weekend's defeat of
Olympic Champion and World Record holder Kenenisa Bekele of
Ethiopia, Alistair Cragg (Clonliffe Harriers) has confirmed his
availability for selection for the forthcoming European Indoor
Championships in Madrid on the first weekend of March.
With a season's best of 7:39.89,
narrowly outside his own National Record, Cragg is currently sitting
pretty on top of the World lists and will undoubtedly start as race
favourite in Madrid in an attempt to re-claim the title back to
Irish hands following in the footsteps of Mark Carroll who struck
gold in 2000.
Meanwhile, on the domestic scene the
National Indoor Championships return to Nenagh after a 2 year
sabbatical in Belfast and promise to
be one of the most exciting in recent times, particularly in
the men's 400m. Currently there are 3 Irish men under the
European Qualifying standard (David Gillick, David McCarthy and Rob
Daly) making the event likely to be the race of the weekend.
In the shorter sprints Paul Hession
looks favourite to take the men's 200m and Gary Ryan's 60m record of
6.73 looks like it is living on borrowed time as both Paul
Brizzel and Jer O´Donoghue have both
ducked under 6.8 this season.
The middle distance races look to be
in the hands of ultra-talented juniors Colin Costello and Ciaran
O´Lionaird while Athens
Olympians Adrian O´Dwyer (HJ) and Robert Heffernan (5000m Walk) look
set to retain their titles.
The women's events are just as
exciting and the 60m looks to be the most competitive ever with
Ailis McSweeney narrowly
missing the legendry Michele
Carroll's long standing National Record of 7.38 by .01 of a second
last weekend and the rejuvenated Emily Maher clocking an equally
impressive 7.42 in Budapest.
Ciara Sheehy will look to win her 7th successive 200m crown and
Derval O´Rourke could come close to her own National record in the
The action commences at 2pm on
Saturday and 12 noon on Sunday.
Article on Alistair Cragg from IAAF
Current Irish Qualifiers for 2005
European Indoor Championships, Madrid
Ailis McSweeney 60m 7.39 Bratislava
Derval O'Rourke 60m Hurdles 8.15
Deirdre Ryan High Jump 1.90 Glasgow
Paul Hession 200m 21.12 Birmingham
David Gillick 400m 47.28 Glasgow
David McCarthy 400m 47.32 Birmingham
Robert Daly 400m 47.57 Birmingham
Alistair Cragg 3000m 7:39.89 Boston
Mark Carroll 3000m 7:46.60 Boston