Athletics

Jason Smyth is the top draw at IMC Belfast International

Jason Smyth continues his preparation for next month's IPC World Championships in London with an appearance at the Mary Peters Track on Saturday
By Malcolm McCausland

JASON Smyth is the headline performer at Saturday's IMC Belfast International at the Mary Peters Track.

He will be in action over 100m on two occasions as he continues his preparations for the IPC World Championships in London next month.

Smyth's opponents will include Irish schools' intermediate double sprint champion Aaron Sexton, Dean Adams and Conor McIlveen, who seeks to improve his ranking in pursuit of selection for the T38 100m spot at next year's Commonwealth Games.

Another top Paralympian in action is middle-distance maestro Michael McKillop in the 1500m.

Meanwhile, local wheelchair athlete Jack Agnew will tune up for his IPC World Junior Championship challenge in Switzerland in early August by competing in 400m and 1500m races against top international competitor Patrick Monahan.

Meet director Eamonn Christie is hoping Irish international John Travers will be a late addition to a 3,000m field that includes Bristol runner Dan Studley, who won over 1500m at the same meeting last year.

The 800m races promise to be compelling watching with another Dubliner, Kieran Kelly (who has a best of 1:47.50), and Scottish international Cameron Boyek (who clocked 3:39.15 for the 1500m in 2015) taking on Ulster champion Mark Hoy.

England's Ellie Baker, with a 2:04.67 best, heads the women's field with Scotland's Philippa Millage and Erin McIlveen also hoping to be in the mix.

ELSEWHERE, the Tailteann Games Inter-Provincial takes place at Santry Stadium, while Sunday sees the first round of the Irish Life Health National Track and Field League, with Tallaght and Athlone being the venues.

In the women's premier division, Dundrum South Dublin is going for a seventh consecutive title and Clonliffe Harriers defend the men's crown for a third year.

TOMORROW'S Dromore Community 10K and 5K at noon in Tyrone looks to be the pick of the weekend's road race action.

The Ballymacnab Round Towers GFC in Armagh completes its successful couch to 5K programme.

“Initially the event was set up as a fundraiser for the club and, although we have raised a few pounds the health benefits, getting to meet local people from the community who wouldn't necessary be ‘football' people has been unbelievable,” explained the club's PRO Nelius Boyle.

“We have now taken a great interest in running, particularly people who haven't done much exercise from their own playing days. We plan to continue the training.”

The final 5K will now take place tomorrow morning around the club's grounds and surrounding areas with registration and warm-up from 9:30am.

On-line registration is available at www.klubfunder.com/Clubs/Ballymacnab/Events/Ballymacnab_GFC_5k_Run_Jog_Walk

Athletics

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