Leon Reid takes double sprint gold at the Irish Senior Indoor Championships

Leon Reid won gold in the 60m and 200m in the Irish Life Health National Senior Indoor Championships at Abbotstown 
Malcolm McCausland

NORTHERN athletes dominated the second day of the Irish Life Health National Senior Indoor Championships in the new arena at Abbotstown. 

A bag full of titles came up the M1 with England-based Leon Reid helping himself to a double in the 60m and 200m. 

The NI Commonwealth Games representative powered to a win in the 60m posting a 6.74 seconds clocking before rounding off the afternoon with an impressive win in the one lap event recording an impressive 21.08.

Kerry O’Flaherty tore up all the coaching manuals to line up in the 1500m.  It was the Newcastle athlete’s third race in five days after a 1500m in Athlone and the Armagh 3K road race in midweek but she came away with the gold medal in a credible 4:20.86.

Ben Reynolds was another man clocking up the miles but in a different manner. 

The North Down athlete finished fifth over the 60m Hurdles in Birmingham on Saturday in 7.83 seconds before rushing home to compete yesterday. The travel obviously had no effect on him as he took another four-hundredths off that time yesterday for a comfortable victory. 

The Ulster athletes were also showing off their technical prowess in the field. It took a tie-break in the women’s pole vault to separate City of Lisburn’s Ellen McCartney from runner-up Ballymena & Antrim’s Claire Wilkinson after both athletes had cleared 3.40m.

Bellaghy’s best Adam McMullen easily defended his long jump title with a best effort of 7.59m, while over in the shot putt circle Finn Valley’s John Kelly subjugated the opposition with a mighty heave of 17.09m.  Earlier Kelly’s club mate Sommer Lecky had struck gold in the high jump with a fine clearance of 1.81m.

Arguably the best race of the championships may have been the women’s 3000m on Saturday evening when three Olympians lined up in pursuit of the title. 

Portaferry’s Ciara Mageean took gold ahead of Michelle Finn and Fionnuala McCormack.

Mageean’s time of 9:08.83 was well outside her 8:55.09 indoor best but came after a traumatic week in which she lost her grandmother.

Meanwhile in Australia, Amy Foster posted a Commonwealth Games qualifying time of 11.42 at the AACT Championships with assistance of a legal 2.0 metres per second following breeze.


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