Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 20 April 2014

Katie Kirk races to bronze medal

Medal winner: Katie Kirk took bronze in the 800 metres in Sheffield

Katie Kirk ran an excellent second half in the 800 metre race at the British Indoor Athletics Championships to claim a bronze medal.

The 20-year-old Holywood girl, who carried the torch at the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony, had already recorded her second personal best in the space of a week when she set a new time of 2.06.23 when finishing in third place in her heat in Sheffield.

She was slightly slower in the final, but still recorded an impressive time of 2.06.76, to finish just in front of experienced former European indoor champion Jenny Meadows.

The race was won by Laura Muir, who is ranked number one in the world, and in the process she sealed her qualification for the World Indoors, in Sopot, Poland, next month.

The 20-year-old rising star of Scottish athletics kicked away from the field on the final lap to clock 2.06.04. Shelayna Oskan-Clarke finished in second place.

Meanwhile, Commonwealth Games-bound Zoe Brown, of Raheny Shamrocks, produced an impressive pole vault display as she also took a bronze medal.

Zoe vaulted a season's best of 4.16 metres to win bronze for the second successive year.

This represents a considerable improvement on her recent 4.10 metres vault in the Scottish Open.

The event was won by Olympian Holly Bleasdale, with a season's best vault of 4.73 metres. Britain's Lucy Bryan took silver with 4.26 metres.

Ireland's top sprinter Amy Foster, of Lisburn AC, was once again in top form in the 60 metres.

The 25-year-old recorded times of 7.36 seconds and 7.35 seconds in her heats before excelling with a fourth placed finish in the final.

Her time of 7.33 seconds equals her personal best time set in the Irish Championships a year ago.

She is now a mere 0.01 seconds shy of the qualification mark for the World Indoor Championships.

Annadale's Paul Pollock was also in good form in the 3,000 metres where he battled his way to sixth place behind Britain's Andy Vernon who took gold with a time of 7.56.84 seconds. Pollock's time of 8.09.54 was a huge personal best by over 12 seconds.

Ireland's Rory Chesser was 11th in 8.16.03 followed by City of Derry's Conor Bradley, who was timed at 8.16.49.

Ballymena's Gareth Hill ran 4.02.95 in his 1,500 metres heat while North Down's Mark Patterson clocked 1.56.02 in the 800 metres.

Katarina Johnson-Thompson claimed a second British Indoor title, a day after clearing 1.96 metres in the high jump. The 21-year-old from Liverpool leapt out to 6.75m in the long jump.

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