Home News Allen Ready For This Weekends European Cup (NI Champs Report)

Allen Ready For This Weekends European Cup (NI Champs Report)


From Athletics Northern Ireland Abbey AC javelin maestro, Michael Allen, was an impressive winner in the weekend’s Antrim Council sponsored Senior Track and Field Championships at the Forum, a more low key affair than previous years. His throw of over 75 metres proves that he is ready to face one of the biggest challenges of his career this coming weekend in Annecy when he represents Britain in the European Cup. Michael did however express a little disappointment with his victory as his run-up was affected by a slight groin strain. He is positive though about the coming challenge in France as his training is going particularly well.

There was some close competition in the Championships with the usual swirling wind at this venue affecting many sprint times. Class act in the Women’s 100 metres was Commonwealth silver medallist, Geraldine Pillay, of South Africa who won by a 0.12 second margin over last year’s champion Amy Foster with third placed Anna Boyle showing some signs of a return to her old champion’s form.

In the Men’s sprint multi-title holder Paul Brizzel was never likely to prevent an in-form Nick Smith of Shaftesbury from repeating his victory of last year. Local interest centred on a spirited third place PB of 10.82 seconds by delighted Schools champion, Dean Adams. This now adds him to the lengthening list of athletes who have achieved the Commonwealth Youth Games standard. Dean later took silver over 200 metres from Birchfield’s Nik Kanonik.

Former high jump specialist, Jason Harvey, continued his successful transition to the 400 metres where he had a comfortable one second victory over the opposition in a useful 49.20 secs. The Men’s 800 metres suffered from the usual reluctance of anyone to take the lead which resulted in Shercock’s Kevin McCloy winning in 1.56 from a posse of six other athletes. Similarly, in the Men’s 5000 Conor Flannigan’s sprint finish just got the better of long time leader, Kevin Seaward.

The form book was upset in the Women’s 1500 metres where Inter-Counties champion, Kerry Harty, forced the pace from the gun in a determined effort to destroy the opposition. However, an undaunted Kelly McNiece covered her every move until the final straight when Harty forged ahead to win by 10 metres in 2.24.3. McNiece had the consolation of an easy victory later in the 800 metres.

North’s Emma Doherty set a new NI record in the 3000 metres walk with a time of 15 mins 52.93 secs. The Women’s shot was won with a throw of 15.73 metres by AAA’s champion Eva Massey who is cautiously returning to competition after a nightmarish winter of illness.

There was a comfortable double victory for Abbey’s Alan Kennedy in the triple jump (14.57 metres) and long jump (7.18 metres). Classy Belgrave athlete Scott Thompson also won with ease in both the shot (15.66 metres) and discus (50.84 metres).

There were useful performances in both hammer events. Woodford’s Andy Frost, who just missed out on a Commonwealth medal in Melbourne, was a convincing winner with an impressive 66.10 metres. Scotland’s Susan McKelvie took the Women’s title with a season’s best of 60.14 metres. The AAA’s U23 champion’s next key target is July’s UK Olympic trials.

Official results are now available and photos will follow later on today.

[Pictured- the hopping race! Harvey winning the 400m]

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