Record-setting NI athletes have Euro glory firmly in their sights
Nine athletes from Northern Ireland will be part of an Irish squad which will compete in the European U20 Athletics Championships starting today in Boras, Sweden.
The strong squad includes at least three NI athletes in contention for medals. Sprinter Aaron Sexton, 400m competitor Davicia Patterson and heptathlete Kate O'Connor each have a great chance of achieving rostrum places.
However, the event will be 18-year-old Sexton's final athletics competition before embarking on a rugby career with the Ulster Academy.
Nonetheless, the North Down athlete has the opportunity to exit the sport on a high in the 200m as his recent Irish junior record of 20.69 seconds places him fastest in Europe.
Patterson's record-setting national junior 400m time of 52.57 seconds makes her second fastest in Europe.
Commonwealth Games heptathlon competitor O'Connor is ranked third in Europe, just behind leader Annik Kalin of Switzerland and Spain's Maria Vicente. With very little separating the three, the gold medal is wide open.