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Omitted Amy blasts NI Games Council as Katarina strikes gold



Flying the flag: Katarina Johnson-Thompson

Flying the flag: Katarina Johnson-Thompson

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Flying the flag: Katarina Johnson-Thompson

An angry Amy Foster took a swipe at the Commonwealth Games selectors after a solid performance at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham last night.

Foster, who exited in the heats of the women's 60m after a time of 7.35 seconds, admitted she still feels deeply hurt after being snubbed for selection for next month's Games by the Northern Ireland Games Council.

Foster ran the qualifying standard on three occasions last year, but was left off the team in favour of athletes ranked higher in their respective events.

"I'm devastated," she said. "The Commonwealths on the Gold Coast was something I thought about since the day it was announced in 2011. I wanted to be there and that's a massive thing for me. To get the qualifying time three times, once in Australia, once in Ireland, what more could I have done? This was the one I really wanted."

Selectors may well have been left red-faced after Foster's recent run of form, and yesterday the 29-year-old admitted that she had been running with extra motivation since.

"I feel like I've proven a point and made some people uncomfortable," she said. "I've had a lot of support and that's been amazing, but whatever happens I can never get it back. The hardest thing for me is I did everything I could. I should be on that plane in three weeks' time, but I'm not."

In yesterday's heat, Foster blasted from the blocks in impressive style, and through the opening 20 metres she led double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson. But she was soon swallowed up by the pack, coming home fifth in 7.35 seconds in a race won by Marie-Josee Ta Lou of the Ivory Coast in 7.17.

In the 60m hurdles, British champion Megan Marrs finished sixth in her heat in a time of 8.28 seconds in a race won by Norway's Isabelle Pedersen in 7.94.

The Lisburn AC woman commented: "I am a little disappointed I didn't get closer to my PB of 8.16 seconds. However, I was happy with my start and am glad I was competitive against a world-class field. This is all about the experience of pressure and I have achieved my goals by being here. I will now start preparing for the outdoor season."

In the heats of the women's 1,500m, Portaferry's Ciara Mageean was tailed off in seventh place in a time of four minutes, 11.81 seconds. The race was won by Sifan Hassan in 4.05.46.

A somewhat dispirited Mageean said: "I am disappointed with that as I wanted to get an Indoors PB of four minutes and eight seconds. However, this is a stepping stone as I am waiting to peak for April's Commonwealth Games. I know I am better than this and I have plenty more training to do."

Great Britain's Katarina Johnson-Thompson claimed her first global title after winning the pentathlon.

The 25-year-old finished 50 points ahead of Austria's Ivona Dadic and Cuba's Yorgelis Rodriguez to take victory with 4,750 points. It ended a series of heptathlon disappointments after she finished fifth at last year's World Championships in London, sixth at the Rio Olympics and 28th at the World Championships in 2015.

Johnson-Thompson said trackside: "It's been up and down, a long old day, five events in one day is something I haven't done for a while. You have to believe it in order to do it, it's been a long time coming so it's so special."

Belfast Telegraph