Race against time for would-be Ireland sprinter Leon Reid
IT is a race against time for sprinter Leon Reid, who was provisionally named yesterday in Ireland's 41-strong team to compete in the European Athletics Championships that start next week in Berlin.
The Bath-based athlete received the good news last Friday that the IAAF was lifting the embargo on transfers between national federations imposed in March of last year.
Reid had represented Great Britain in Junior and U23 age groups winning medals at European level before deciding to switch his allegiance to Ireland, qualifying on the basis of his Belfast-born mother.
Despite Reid's transfer being one of the first caught in the transfer freeze, he was still eligible to represent Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games earlier this year, winning a bronze medal in the 200m.
However, it did result in him being in international limbo for almost 18 months and meant he missed last year's world championships in London and the world indoors in Birmingham this March.
Reid will now be permitted to make that switch under the new IAAF rules and he confirmed after Sunday's national championships that the paperwork had already been despatched by Athletics Ireland.
But it is unclear whether the paperwork will processed in time by the IAAF to permit the Menapians athlete make his debut in an Ireland vest at the Euros which are now only seven days away.
In Reid's possible absence Thomas Barr and Ciara Mageean look to be Ireland's main medal hopes in what is possibly the largest ever team for these championships.
Thomas Barr impressed at the national championships on Sunday when he raced to a meeting record as he took his eighth consecutive 400m hurdles title. The Waterford is currently ranked joint fifth in the event following his 48.99 seconds clocking at the recent Mueller Games in London.
Ciara Mageean is named in the 1500m after her victory over that distance at the championships where she also lifted the 800m crown. The Portaferry woman looked to be back to her very best as she controlled both race which were run off within the space of 75 minutes.
Mageean is currently listed eighth in Europe but at least two of those faster than her may not compete in the German capital leaving the road open for the UCD AC to repeat the podium place she achieved two years ago in Amsterdam.
The following athletes have been selected to compete at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin from 6th to 12th August (Ulster athletes in bold)
Phil Healy (Bandon AC) 100m & 200m, Gina Akpe-Moses (Blackrock AC-Louth) 100m, Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (DSD AC) 800m, Claire Mooney (UCD AC) 800m, Ciara Mageean (UCD AC) 1500m, Emma Mitchell (Queens University AC) 10,000m, Kerry O'Flaherty (Newcastle & District AC) 3000m steeplechase, Michelle Finn (Leevale AC) 3000m steeplechase, Breege Connolly (City of Derry) marathon, Gladys Ganiel (North Belfast Harriers AC) marathon, Laura Graham (Mourne Runners AC) marathon, Lizzie Lee (Leevale AC) marathon,
4x100m relay panel: Phil Healy (Bandon AC), Gina Akpe-Moses (Blackrock-Louth), Ciara Neville (Emerald AC), Joan Healy (Bandon AC), Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank AC), Molly Scott (SLOT AC)
4x400m relay: Davicia Patterson (Beechmount Harriers AC), Claire Mooney (UCD AC), Sophie Becker (St. Joseph's AC), Sinead Denny (DSD AC), Ciara Deely (KCH AC), Catherine McManus (DCH AC)
Marcus Lawler (SLOT AC) 200m, Chris O'Donnell (North Sligo AC) 400m, Zak Curran (DSD AC) 800m, Mark English (UCD AC) 800m, Stephen Scullion (Clonliffe Hrs) 10,000m, Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) 110m hurdles, Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) 400m hurdles, Adam McMullen (Crusaders AC) long Jump, Cian McManamon (Westport AC) 20km Walk, Alex Wright (Leevale AC) 20km Walk, Brendan Boyce (Finn Valley AC) 50km Walk, Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers AC) marathon, Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock AC) marathon, Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham WSAF AC) marathon, Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders AC) marathon, Kevin Seaward (St Malachy's AC) marathon,
4x400m relay: Chris O'Donnell (North Sligo AC), Brandon Arrey (Raheny Shamrock AC), Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC), Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Andrew Mellon (Crusaders AC), Dara Kervick (DSD AC)