Belfast Telegraph

A tough schedule but Pollock takes it all in stride

By Brian Hill

Athletics Ireland has included seven NI athletes in its 30-strong team for the European Athletics Championships which take place in Zurich from August 12-17. They face a very busy schedule given that the Championships follow a mere 10 days after the final events in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

No-one will feel this tight timetable more than Annadale's Paul Pollock who will represent NI in Glasgow in the 10,000 metres. He recently came within 0.03 seconds of breaking the NI record.

Seventeen days later, in Zurich, the Holywood man will lead the Irish marathon team which also includes St Malachy's pair Tom Frazer – who ran a PB of 2.17.45 in Berlin – and Kevin Seaward who finished third in the Manchester Marathon in 2.18.46. Rathfarnham's Sean Hehir completes the line-up.

Pollock, who was second European marathon finisher in last year's World Championships, is on record as stating he is confident that he can cope with two such demanding events despite the short interlude.

Lisburn AC's Amy Foster and Phil Healy of Bandon AC have been selected for the 100 metres in Zurich following their dead-heat result last weekend when both were credited with an Irish Championship best time of 11.49 secs.

Antrim pole vaulter Zoe Brown has reigned supreme this year with five records. She will be Ireland's sole representative following the withdrawal of Finn Valley's Tori Pena.

Two other local athletes have been selected for the 400 metres hurdles – Belfast's Jason Harvey will partner Ferrybank's Thomas Barr who is currently ranked third in Europe. Harvey, 23, is peaking at the right time with a recent season's best of 50.64 secs.

Ballymena's Christine M'Mahon also has been picked following her Irish title win and recent PB time of 56.97 secs in Belgium.

Meanwhile 18-year-old Aislinn Crossey of Newry AC will compete over 800 metres tonight in the World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

British Athletics has announced a 56-strong team for the IPC European Championships in Swansea from August 18-23. It will include Springwell's 19-year-old Sally Browne – a former winner of the Belfast Telegraph Sportsperson with a Disability Award – who will race over 100 and 200 metres in the T47 (arm amputation) section.

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