Belfast Telegraph

Games stars Ganiel and O'Flaherty in Laganside clash

By Brian Hill

Commonwealth Games athletes Gladys Ganiel and Kerry O'Flaherty will make their first competitive appearances since the Glasgow spectacular in Sunday's Pure Running Laganside 10K which this year incorporates the Northern Ireland Championships.

The popularity of the race, which starts at Ormeau Park (2pm), is such that the number of runners has been capped at 1,000 with no entries on the day.

University lecturer Ganiel has been in light training since her impressive run in the recent Commonwealth Marathon in which she recorded her second fastest ever time to finish 12th in just over 2hrs 40 mins. Gladys considered this her best ever marathon achievement due to the difficult course plus wind and rain.

As the North Belfast runner is still recovering from this experience she does not expect to emulate her win earlier this year in the Downpatrick 10K.

This should leave the way clear for Newcastle's O'Flaherty to notch up yet another victory.

This will be Kerry's first 10K since taking the Northern Ireland title nearly two years ago at Ormeau in 34 mins 23 secs which was just short of her PB.

Like Ganiel, the 33-year-old is revitalising her energies following the Games steeplechase in which she fought her way to a gutsy third fastest ever time.

The team event should go to North Belfast with Ganiel getting support from Amanda Crowe, Cathy McCourt and Louise Smith.

In the men's race, Annadale's Eddie McGinley starts as firm favourite, with North Belfast looking strong in the team event.

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