Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland athletes out to set Games quality

By Brian Hill

Seven Northern Ireland athletes bound for next week's Glasgow Commonwealth Games will be taking part in their final competition before leaving for Scotland at the Irish Championships tomorrow at Santry Stadium, Dublin.

All eyes will once again be on 30-year-old pole vaulter Zoe Brown, who set her fifth NI record this year a few days ago with a vault of 4.45 metres in Cardiff.

She easily defeated Welsh record holder Sally Peake, who will be one of her main rivals for a medal in Glasgow. Brown is in the form of her life with consistently good performances that clearly point to a medal at the Games.

Multi-Irish sprint champion Amy Foster should have little difficulty adding another title to her collection as she peaks for the red-hot Commonwealth competition in Scotland following her new NI 100 metres record of 11.40 seconds earlier in the season.

Also coming into peak form is Ballymena's Christine M'Mahon, who immediately followed up an indifferent hurdles performance in Belfast with her second fastest ever time of 57.36 seconds in Belgium.

The QUB student should get the verdict at Santry over arch-rival Jessie Barr of Ferrybank.

British U23 800 metres champion Katie Kirk is entered in both her specialist event plus the 400 metres.

She will fancy her title chances over the two-lap race where she will face Ireland's Erin M'Ilveen of Lisburn AC, who recently set a PB in Belfast.

There is a fascinating entry in the form of 22-year-old Ciara Mageean, who will be making her first competitive outing in over two years following a debilitating foot injury.

The NI 1,500 metres record holder was a shining star when she took silver in the World Junior Championships back in 2010.

High hurdler Ben Reynolds should have little difficulty adding to his Irish title haul as his 13.79 seconds time this year is substantially faster than the opposition.

The complete list of Northern Ireland athletes who will be testing their skills ahead of Glasgow reads: Zoe Brown (pole vault), Amy Foster (100 metres), Katie Kirk (400/800 metres), Christine M'Mahon (400 metres hurdles) Ben Reynolds (110 metres hurdles), Daniel Mooney (1,500 metres) and Dempsey M'Guigan (hammer).

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