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 60m Hurdles.


The action commences at 2pm on Saturday and 12 noon on Sunday.



Article on Alistair Cragg from IAAF website:



Current Irish Qualifiers for 2005 European Indoor Championships, Madrid


Ailis McSweeney 60m 7.39 Bratislava 30/01/05

Derval O'Rourke 60m Hurdles 8.15 Budapest 28/01/05

Deirdre Ryan High Jump 1.90 Glasgow 23/01/05

Paul Hession 200m 21.12 Birmingham 30/01/05

David Gillick 400m 47.28 Glasgow 23/01/05

David McCarthy 400m 47.32 Birmingham 30/01/05

Robert Daly 400m 47.57 Birmingham 29/01/05

Alistair Cragg 3000m 7:39.89 Boston 29/01/05

Mark Carroll 3000m 7:46.60 Boston 28/01/05


Disclaimer - The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the AAI


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