Belfast Telegraph

McMullen jumps across the sea in prep for Games


By Brian Hill

Five Northern Ireland athletes who are bound for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games will be in action this weekend in the Irish Life Health Senior Indoors Championships in Dublin.

Long jumper Adam McMullen will probably be the busiest competitor as he takes part in both the British and Irish Championships. Adam will jump in the GB Championships in Birmingham and later in Dublin in an effort to replicate the hectic competitive conditions which he is likely to face in Australia.

The Crusaders man is hot favourite to retain his title in Dublin following a recent huge personal best of 7.97 metres.

Gold Coast bound Emma Mitchell may be another busy athlete. She has entered the 1500 and 3,000 metres and could easily achieve the double should she choose to race twice.

In the 1500 metres, she will face defending champion Kerry O'Flaherty who was bitterly disappointed not to be selected for the Commonwealths.

There will be a fascinating battle in the Men's 60 metres between Games competitor Leon Reid and Marcus Lawler of St L.O'Toole. Leon beat his rival two weeks ago in 6.79 seconds but Marcus took the Universities title a few days ago in a slightly faster time.

There will be a similar clash in the Women's sprint where Lisburn AC's Amy Foster, who recently equalled the Irish record of 7.30 seconds, faces Bandon AC's Joan Healy who ran a personal best of 7.33 seconds last weekend in Gent.

Finn Valley's high jump star Sommer Lecky should have no difficulty retaining her title following her recent Irish Junior record of 1.86 metres.

North Down hurdler Ben Reynolds should enjoy similar success. Both are competing regularly at present in preparation for the challenges in Australia.

Other Northern athletes tipped for gold include Ballymena pole vaulter Shane Martin, Lisburn's Ellen McCarthy, also in the vault after recently setting an Irish Junior record of 3.62 metres and Andrew Mellon of Crusaders in the 400 metres.

Ballymena's Craig Newell will be fully tested by Olympian Thomas Barr in the 200 metres.

Belfast Telegraph

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