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Northern Ireland’s Kate O’Connor lays foundations for crack at heptathlon delight at Commonwealth Games



Kate O’Connor during the shot put in the heptathlon

Kate O’Connor during the shot put in the heptathlon

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Kate O’Connor during the shot put in the heptathlon

Northern Ireland’s Kate O’Connor currently sits in the silver medal position following the first day of heptathlon action at the Commonwealth Games.

She produced some spectacular early performances in the seven-discipline event in Birmingham in front of a capacity 30,000 crowd.

In ideal humid conditions, the 21-year-old got to work in attempting to better her eighth position in the last Games on the Gold Coast in Australia.

O’Connor started her campaign in impressive fashion in the 100m hurdles event where she finished fourth ahead of former world champion Katarina Johnson-Thompson. She recorded a personal best time of 13.74 seconds.

The Newry woman then followed this up with a solid 1.78m high jump for another fourth place, close to her PB of 1.81m.

At the end of the morning’s two events, the competition was led by Johnson-Thompson with 2,032 points. There was little to choose between the other places with Australia’s Taneille Crase on 2,015 points followed by England’s Holly Mills (2,000 points) and O’Connor on 1,968 points.

O’Connor ended the third event in silver medal position with a season’s best shot put of 13.73m, further than anyone else.

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At that point, the former European U20 silver medallist was only 11 points behind leader Johnson-Thompson.

She retained her silver medal position with third in the 200m behind Johnson-Thompson with yet another PB of 24.73 seconds, which scored 912 points.

O’Connor will anticipate progressing further today as one of the three events includes the javelin, where she is the NI record holder with 52.92m.

Also racing yesterday was North Down’s Eve Walsh-Dann, who despite running a PB in her 100m T37/T38 event of 14.04 seconds missed out on the Final by 0.01 seconds.

In the women’s pole vault, Lisburn AC’s Ellen McCartney recorded a lifetime best of 4.25m.

In addition to today’s final heptathlon events, Northern Ireland’s latest record holder Hannah Irwin goes for glory in the 10,000m.

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