Belfast Telegraph

Reid has his sights on a repeat of double heroics at the Belfast International

By Brian Hill

Commonwealth Games 200m bronze medallist Leon Reid, European bronze ace Ciara Mageean and British hurdles champion Megan Marrs head a list of top-class athletes competing in the fifth Belfast International at the Mary Peters Track (main events from 6.30pm).

The star attraction will be Reid who snatched a bronze on the Gold Coast. He took double joy at last year's event and wants a repeat.

Reid will start as favourite in the 100m, where his PB time of 10.33 seconds should be enough to edge victory.

However, he is likely to be fully tested by NI Junior record holder Aaron Sexton, who recently squeezed out multi-Paralympic champion Jason Smyth to take the NI Senior in 10.52 seconds.

There will be no rest for Reid in the 200m. The 23-year-old's fastest time this season is 20.55 seconds, which earned him bronze in Australia.

However, Stefanos Tsakonas of Greece has an even faster time of 20.48 seconds from Ostrava two weeks ago, and the former European U23 champion has a world-class PB time of 20.08 seconds.

The field also includes Sexton, Smyth and Dominic Kopec of Poland, whose PB is 21.01 seconds.

All eyes will be on multi-NI record holder Mageean in the 800m.

Tonight, the 26-year-old -with the assistance of a pacemaker - will attempt to beat her season's best time of 2.03.30 set in the Gold Coast Games.

She will race against training partner Anna Silvander of Sweden, plus classy Irish Schools champion Alana Lally, who recently ran 2.04.79 in Geneva.

In last year's Women's 100m hurdles, City of Lisburn's Marrs was narrowly pipped by Cheltenham's Molly Courtney. This time the prediction is a clear win for 20-year-old Loughborough student Marrs.

Her achievements this year have included victory in the British Indoor Championships in a PB time plus participation in the World Championships in Birmingham. More recently, she took the British Universities title and recorded another PB of 13.42 seconds in the British U23 Championships.

In the Men's 800m, Annadale's Conall Kirk will be out to maintain momentum after victory in Loughborough in a PB time of 1.50.40. The 22-year-old faces Ireland's Kevin Woods plus Brian Fay.

Favourite for the Men's 400m is Theo Campbell, who recently took the NI title in 47.03 seconds. He will be pushed by QUB's Andrew Mellon plus England's Andrew Smitherman.

In the Men's javelin, Ballymena's Jack Magee - who recently took the NI title in a PB of 66.42m - and Lifford/Strabane man Gareth Crawford - who took second in a PB of 64.37m - will renew their rivalry.

In the Women's 100m, former Irish record holder Amy Foster will have her first outing since the Gold Coast Games. She will face NI champion Lauren Roy of City of Lisburn.

Games high hurdles competitor Ben Reynolds will be hoping for a season's best, while Jason Harvey of Crusaders will be aiming for victory against Ireland's Paul Byrne in the 400m hurdles.

Belfast Telegraph

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