Belfast Telegraph

Dan turns up the heat to win Walled City marathon

By Brian Hill

Kenya’s Dan Tanui successfully defended his Walled City marathon title in Derry yesterday with a crushing victory over the opposition in a time of 2 hour 19 mins 44 secs which took almost three minutes off the old record.

Tanui, who finished second in last month’s Belfast Marathon, was always at the front of a 1400 field and seemed to be unaffected by the hot, humid conditions .

Recent Belfast winner Eric Koech was second in 2 .25.29 followed by Thomas Maguire (2.46.40).

Heather Noone of Mayo was a surprise winner in the Ladies event in a time of 3 hours 5 mins 33 secs. Louise Smith of North Belfast, who was sixth in Belfast, led to half way but leg problems resulted in her finishing second in 3.10.14. Foyle’s Denise Ward was third in 3.18.18..

Bangor Grammar School’s classy sprinter Aaron Sexton qualified for next month’s World Junior Championships in Finland when he took two Senior sprint titles at the All Ireland Schools Championships in Tullamore.

The 17 year old Commonwealth Youth Games champion was always one of the favourites for the Senior 100 metres title following his 10.77 seconds personal best a year ago when taking the Intermediate title.

Once again he did not disappoint  when taking full advantage of the perfect weather conditions. He fought a tight battle with arch rival David McDonald of CBS Wexford with virtually nothing separating the two at the finish .

The judges finally gave the verdict to Sexton with both athletes given the same time of 10.52 secs which is a ‘B’ standard for Finland. This also breaks Jason Smith’s old NI Junior record of 10.61 secs set in 2006.

In a highly competitive race Michael McAuley of St Louis, Ballymena  was fourth in a fast 10.71 secs .

However, North Down’s Sexton was reserving his best for the 200 metres where he renewed his rivalry with McDonald. This time the result was clear cut with Aaron achieving an ‘A’ standard for the World Juniors with victory in 21.12 secs which broke his own NI record of 21.43 secs from a year ago. This time places him in the European top 10. McAuley took bronze in 21.57 secs behind McDonald (21.26 secs) .

In Finland, Sexton will be joined by Hunter House’s Davicia Patterson who set a Championship record in Tullamore when winning the Senior 400 metres in 53.90 secs. Ciara Deely of  Loretto, Kilkenny who has also a World ‘A’ standard was second in 54.33 secs. The in form 17 year old Patterson set a NI record last week of 53.64 secs.

Other notable senior Northern victories included Commonwealth Games high jumper Sommer Lecky who won easily with a 1.79 metres jump while Royal and Prior’s James Kelly, who was second in the English Indoors shot this year and has two World  ‘B’ standards, won with 16.88 metres.

Other Senior gold medallists were Sophie Meredith of Newcastle in the long jump (5.93 metres), Belfast High School’s Iona McPherson  in the triple jump (11.31 metres) and Ellie McCartney in the pole vault (3.60 metres), Oscar Yandall of Campbell in the javelin (45.40 metres ) and Jai Benson of St Malachy’s in the triple jump (14.01 metres).

In the Premiership League meeting in Cardiff, Commonwealth Bronze medallist Leon Reid led his Birchfield team to yet another victory with a double win in the 100 metres (10.58 secs) and 200 metres (20.78 secs).

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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