Belfast Telegraph

Olympic torch bearer Katie Kirk in Commonwealth Games frame

By Brian Hill

London 2012 torch bearer Katie Kirk, the 20-year-old 800 metres ace, has served notice on the Commonwealth Games selectors with the race of her life in the big International Grand Prix meeting in Athlone.

The Queen's University food science student recorded a winning time of two mins 3.58 seconds which sliced a huge 2.74 seconds off her previous best and places her fourth on the current UK Senior list.

Herne Hill's Katie Snowden, who was second, also recorded a huge personal best of 2.04.35.

While Kirk's time is an agonising .08 slower than the summer's Glasgow Games qualification mark, it does nevertheless put her firmly in the frame for favourable selection consideration.

Katie has already represented Northern Ireland in the Games, in Delhi in 2010 when she raced in the 400 metres relay.

Holywood-based Katie, recalling the Athlone contest, said: "That race felt easy. The pacemaker, Aislinn Crossey, did a brilliant even paced job to 600 metres and I then had to fight off Katie Snowdon in the closing stages.

"This is the end of my indoors season and it's now back to some hard training as part of my spring build-up towards achieving my goal of making the Games."

Kirk's time is the fastest indoor run by any Irish athlete in 14 years. It is also faster than this year's performances by Ireland's Ciara Everard and Roseanne Galligan who are competing in the World Indoors in Poland next weekend.

Local athletics appears to be in good health with eight athletes already qualified for consideration for Glasgow.

Belfast Telegraph

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