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Commonwealth Games trio Hannah Irwin, Megan Marrs and Kate O’Connor out to impress at Mary Peters Track



Kate O'Connor will feature at the Mary Peters Track

Kate O'Connor will feature at the Mary Peters Track

Kate O'Connor will feature at the Mary Peters Track

Commonwealth Games contenders Hannah Irwin, Megan Marrs and Kate O’Connor have entered tomorrow’s Northern Ireland and Ulster Senior Championships at the Mary Peters Track.

Cambridge athlete Irwin (23) is currently enjoying her best season ever with a NI 10,000 metres record of 32 mins 25 secs and a recent 5,000 metres PB at Watford.

She should have few problems taking the 1,500 metres title at Upper Malone against opposition who are likely to be jostling for the lower positions on the podium.

Lisburn AC hurdler Marrs has been making valiant efforts to regain full fitness following her Achilles injury shortly after competing for Great Britain in the World Indoors in Belgrade three month ago.

The 25-year-old would be delighted if she could repeat her victory time from last year’s Championships, wheN she recorded a Games nomination time of 13.35 secs.

Her two recent outings in Europe have shown that she is injury-free and in shape for the Games in Birmingham.

Heptathlete O’Connor was, at 16, the youngest athlete in the Gold Coast Games in Australia four years ago.  She was unfortunate not to finish  the recent big Gotzis meeting in Austria due to illness and has entered the 200 metres event in Belfast.

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Former Games athlete Emma Mitchell has entered both the 1,500 and 5,000 metres.

In the shorter event,  she faces Letterkenny’s Nakita Burke while team-mate Catherine Whoriskey goes in the 5,000 metres.

There should, meanwhile,  be a fascinating struggle in the Men’s 1,500 metres.

Annadale’s Neil Johnston ran a fast sub 3 mins 49 secs recently at Upper Malone,  where he faces former champion Andrew Milligan of North Belfast.

The additional  presence of Annadale’s Conall Kirk plus Clionliffe’s Jonny Whan makes a winner prediction something of a lottery.

If Milligan decides to defend his 800 metres title,  he could face Willowfield’s Andrew Wright.

Another former Games athlete Adam Kirk-Smith is entered in the steeplechase,  while Mid Ulster’s Nick Griggs has put his name down for the 400 metres. The Under-20 European 3k champion ran a PB last week of 3.42.72 for 1,500 metres.

And finally multi-Paralympic champion Jason Smyth has entered for the 100 metres.

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