Ciara Mageean drops down in distance for Morton Games

Mageean ran a personal best of 2:02.84s last month at the shorter distance
Malcom McCausland

EUROPEAN 1500m bronze medallist Ciara Mageean drops down in distance to contest the 800m at tonight’s Morton Games.

Last year, the Portaferry woman won the women’s mile at the meeting, heralding her return to the big stage after a careerthreatening injury.

She will be hoping to improve on the personal best of 2:02.84s that she ran in Belfast last month to boost her morale in advance of heading off to the Irish Olympics holding camp in Uberlandia in south eastern Brazil, next Wednesday.

In Mageean’s absence, American Heather Kampf assumes the role of favourite for the women’s mile.

The Minnesota woman has run 4:27.26s but was eliminated at the semi-final stage of the 1500m at the recent American Olympic trials.

Donegal town man Karl Griffin was Ireland’s only other winner at the meeting last year, but will have to be at his best if he is to retain his 800m title.

The Eamon Harvey-trained athlete faces reigning World Universities champion Shaquille Walker of the USA, who has a best time of 1:44.99s.

Britain’s Jarryd Dunne should win the 400m, which includes home favourites Brian Gregan and David Gillick, while Irish champion Thomas Barr should have his hands full with the USA’s former World champion Jehue Gordon in the 400m hurdles.

Both Northern national 100m champions will be in action.

Amy Foster takes on the Healy sisters – Joan and Phil – in the women’s 100m, while Jason Smyth will look to fend off the challenge of Britain’s 10.18s performer Deji Tobais in the men’s short sprint.

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