Belfast Telegraph

Aislinn Crossey boosts Games chances at the European Junior Championships

By Brian Hill

New middle distance star Aislinn Crossey of Newry AC ran yet another superb race at the weekend in the European Junior Championships in Reiti, Italy.

The 17-year-old just missed out on a medal when finishing fourth in the 800 metres final where she recorded yet another Personal Best time of 2 minutes 3.93 seconds.

This time has made Crossey a serious prospect for inclusion in next summer's Commonwealth Games in Glasgow where the qualification requirement is only 0.43 seconds faster than her Reiti performance.

Aislinn's run is also the second fastest by an athlete resident in the UK behind England's Jessica Judd. In the past month her best time has improved by no less than 2.5 seconds.

Aislinn showed no sign of nerves in the most important race of her life. In a high quality field hot favourite Anita Hinriksdottir of Iceland forced the pace to break clear and win in a classy 2.01.14.

Behind her a battling Crossey was just beaten for bronze by Germany's Christina Hering who was timed at 2.03.11. Team-mate and Irish Schools champion Siofra Cleirigh Buttner finished eighth in a disappointing time of 2.06.23 .

Meanwhile in Bottrop, Gemany, top Irish sprinter Amy Foster of Lisburn AC was once again frustrated in her quest to beat her NI 100 metres record of 11.49 seconds which she equalled a month ago in Belfast.

The 24-year-old recorded 11.45 seconds in her heat but the wind reading of 2.5 seconds was unfortunately over the permitted 2 metres limit.

Meanwhile, there were several good performances by Ulster athletes in the Home Countries Track and Field International in Dublin.

Sole winner was Belfast High's Andrew Barkley of Belfast High who took victory in the discus with a throw of 46.51 metres.

A busy Megan Marrs of Srathearn was third in the 80 metres hurdles in 11.51 seconds and came in behind runner- up Katie McGowan of Abbey VS who recorded 11.49 seconds.

Megan was fifth in the 100 metres in 12.14 seconds and was also a member of the Irish Relay team which finished second to England.

Ballyclare's Hannah McAuley was third in the triple jump with 11.39 metres as was Abbey's Kelly McGrory in the 300 metres hurdles in 43.41.

Campbell's Ronan Jenkinson was fourth in the javelin with 52.0 metres while Wallace's Ikenna Nzweni was a member of the Irish relay team which was third in 42.83 secs.

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