Belfast Telegraph

Athletics: Smyth cruises it as Foster scoops a double

Irish Senior Championships

Northern Ireland sprint athletes confirmed their pre-race sprint favourite status with convincing wins in yesterday's Woodie's Irish Senior Athletics Championships at Santry in Dublin.

In the 100 metres City of Derry's Jason Smyth was never headed in what was for him a relatively modest 10.50 seconds.

The Paralympic champion who left immediately for warm weather training in Portugal will be keeping his fingers crossed that he will be selected on the Irish team to be named today for the World Championships in Korea in three weeks time. Jason has a “B” standard time of 10.22 seconds.

Lisburn AC's Amy Foster enjoyed a double victory in the 100 metres (11.68 seconds) and 200 metres (23.74 seconds).

The Bangor woman said she had hoped for a faster 100 metres time as she had equalled the Northern Ireland record at this venue a month ago. She now leaves for the World Student Games in China later this month.

There was drama in the Women's 800 metres where Lisburn AC's Ciara Mageean made it clear from the start that she was out to prove a point following her defeat over 1500 metres in the European Junior Championships.

She stormed off from the gun and blasted through 400 metres in 57.5 seconds with only Riocht's Laura Crowe for company.

However, both girls tied up badly in the home straight with Mageean's exhaustion causing her to stumble and literally fall over the finish line.

This left the path clear for a shocked Siobhan Eviston of Raheny to take victory in a PB of 2.06.69 which was some 0.16 seconds ahead of a bitterly disappointed Mageean.

However, the Portaferry woman showed her grit some two hours later when she took on a classy field in the 1500 metres.

With five women in contention on the final lap, Mageean managed to dig deep to hold off Irish steeplechaser Stephanie Reilly to take victory by a mere 0.07 seconds in a season's best of 4.16.36.

North Down's Ben Reynolds was in a class of his own in the high hurdles when he took the title in a fast time of 14.05 seconds.

There were easy wins for Newcastle's Kerry Harty in the steeplechase in 10.23.29 and UU's Adam McMullan in the long jump (7.26 metres).

Silver medallists included Ballymena's Clare Wilkinson in the pole vault (3.80 metres) and Jason Harvey of University of Ulster who took an amazing four seconds off his personal best to record 50.65 seconds.

The race was won by Ferrybank's Thomas Barr in an Irish Junior record of 50.06 seconds. Ballymena's Dean Adams took bronze in the 100 metres in 10.89 seconds.Well done: Ciara Mageean (right) is congratulated by Fionnualla Britton after winning in the Women's 1500m yesterday

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