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Runner Emma Mitchell makes Games with another record

 

By Brian Hill

Banbridge's long distance running star Emma Mitchell continued her outstanding season with her second NI record in the space of eight days.

At the weekend's Highgate Night of 10,000 Metres, she sliced some 42 seconds off Teresa Duffy's 20 year old record.This ensures that the 23 year old Queen's University student was a comfortable 14 seconds inside the qualification time for next year's Brisbane Commonwealth Games .

Previous record holder Duffy was timed at 33 mins 33.7 secs in Loughborough back in 1997. At Highgate on Saturday, Emma ripped this time to shreds with new figures of 32 mins 51.78 secs to finish seventh in a race which was effectively a who's who of British international middle distance runners. Beth Potter took victory in 32.04 followed by Steph Twell and Jo Pavey.

The previous week Mitchell had also broken Duffy's 21 year old 5,000 metres record by some three seconds.

At Highgate, Emma stuck grimly to her pacing task set by coach Eamonn Christie to go through the halfway mark in a fast 16 mins 22 secs. This set her up in the latter part of the race for her record breaking performance.

A delighted Mitchell said: "It's been the best week of my life after breaking the 5,000 metres record. It's great to get the Commonwealth Games standard. The race went fantastically well for me."

Emma has indicated that one of her objectives this season is the World University Games in China in August. In the meantime coach Christie says they will evaluate their immediate schedule now that Emma is qualified for Brisbane. She will race over 1,500 metres in the NI Championships next month.

In the Highgate meeting there were a series of other personal best times by a number of NI athletes.

Strabane's Anne Marie M'Glynn was timed at 33 mins 16 secs while Armagh's Danielle Fegan recorded 35.27. These two plus Mitchell now occupy the top three spots in the current Irish list.

There were PB 's on the Men's side from Newcastle's Eoghan Totton (31.01), City of Derry's Aaron Doherty (31.32), Newcastle's Seamus Lynch (32.13) and Kyle Doherty of City of Derry (33.19 ).

In the Ulster Schools Championships at Antrim, high jumper Sommer Leckey of Strabane Academy set a new NI Junior record of 1.85 metres which beats the previous record by one centimetre which was held by Ursula Fey from 1983.

Sixteen year old Leckey is the youngest of a growing list of athletes qualified for the Brisbane Games. She will be competing in the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas in July.

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