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Preview: Barr to star at nationals


Preview: Barr to star at nationals

Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) headlines the Irish Life Health National Senior Track and Field Championships in Morton Stadium this weekend (July 22/23).

The Waterford star is targeting his 7th consecutive National Senior title at this year’s championships where he will be looking to put in a good performance ahead of the World Championships in London next month. He will face competition from his training partner Paul Byrne (St Abban’s).

A number of Ireland’s best athletes will be on show including Mark English (UCD), Ciara Mageean (UCD), Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC), Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) and Kerry O Flaherty (Newcastle & Distract AC). The Championships will be shown live on RTÉ 2 from 6pm – 8pm on Sunday 23rd July.

The 100m looks an interesting proposition in the absence of Marcus Lawler (SLOT) through injury with medals wide open. Eanna Madden (Carrick on Shannon) just heads the current entries.

Adam Murhpy (SLOT) will be aiming to add the senior 200m crown to his U23 title while Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) is the clear favourite in the 400m.  

The 110m hurdles sees Matthew Behan (Crusaders) fresh off the European U23s against Gerard O’Donnell (Carrick on Shannon) and Ben Reynolds (North Down) may also yet compete.

Adam Kirk-Smith (Derry City Track Club) will be the favourite in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase while the 800m should be interesting with some quality contenders. There’s no doubting Mark English but it has a good potential cast with Kieran Kelly (Raheny Shamrock), Harry Purcell (Trim), Karl Griffin (UCD) and Shane Fitzsimons (Mullingar Harriers) among the entrants.

John Travers (Donore Harriers) heads the standings in the men’s 5,000m while the 10,000m includes marathoners Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock) and Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers) with Kevin Dooney (Raheny Shamrock) and Kevin Maunsell (Clonmel) amongst those who look likely to challenge.

Alex Wright (Leevale) looks like adding another national title in the 10,000m race walk.

Marco Pons (DMP) and Sean Breathnach (Galway City Harriers) are two of the leading lights in the men’s discus while the men’s hammer has a very good field with Owen Russell (St Andrew’s), Adam King (Iveragh), Killian Barry (Crusaders), Padraig White (Dunboyne) and Ryan McCullough (Donore Harriers).

Ryan Carthy Walsh (Adamstown) will be favoured in the high jump but there is an interesting entry ini Kourosh Foroughi (Star of the Sea).

Clonliffe Harriers’ Stephen Rice and Rory Gunning should be among the leading lights in the javelin.

Adam McMullen (Crusaders) will be the favourite in the long jump with Denis Finnegan (An Riocht) favoured in the triple jump. Thomas Houlihan (West Waterford)is  one of the favourites in the pole vault.

Sean Breathnach (Galway City Harriers) has had some injury concerns but will bid for another national shot put title with John Kelly (Finn Valley) one of the closest contestants.

Amy Foster (City of Lisburn) looks unstoppable in the women’s 100m while Sarah Lavin (UCD) continues her return and will look to win the 100m hurdles. She will face competition from serial racer Catherine McManus (Dublin City Harriers) who is also listed in the 200m.  

Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank) and Sarah McCarthy (Mid Sutton) will be keen competitors in the 200m while Cliodhna Manning (Kilkenny City Harriers) may opt to step up to the 400m. The one lap event sees Sinead Denny (DSD) and Phil Healy (Bandon) amongst the entrants and that would see a great battle between the pair. Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim) should have too much for her rivals in the 400m hurdles.

Ciara Mageean (UCD) heads good women’s entries in the 800m and 1500m. Irish 800m record holder Rose-Anne Galligan (Newbridge) is listed in the entries where Jenna Bromell (Emerald) will be looking to use her 400m leg speed to have an impact.

Emma Mitchell (Queens) is listed in the 1500m and the 5,000m where Shona Heaslip (An Riocht) and Ann-Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny) are also listed in the longer event. Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle) and Michelle Finn (Leevale) look set to do battle in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase.

Kate Veale (West Waterford) will look at add the outdoor 5,000m race walk title to her indoor crown.  

Claire Fitzgerald (Tralee Harriers) discus, shot put and is also entered in the javelin. Grace Casey (Eire Og Corra Choill A.C.) leads the rankings this year in the javelin with Cara Kennedy (Ferrybank) looking good in the hammer.

Ariel Lieghio (Clonliffe Harriers) will be favoured in the women’s pole vault with youngsters Ellen McCartney (City of Lisburn) and Emma Coffey (Carraig na Bhfear) amongst those waiting in the wings.  

Saragh Buggy (St Abban’s) will be the outstanding favourite in the triple jump and she is also entered in the long jump where Sophie Meredith (St Mary’s Limerick) has the longest jump going into the competition.

Pippa Rogan (Sli Cualann) and Emily Rogers (St Peter’s) look like having a tight tussle in the women’s high jump. 

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