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Women Jumpers Setting The Standard


by Jeremy Lyons The upcoming European Indoor Championships in Turin are likely to feature a rare occurrence for Irish Athletics with the likelihood that there will be three women jumpers in three different disciplines in a major championship. Zoe Brown’s personal crusade to drag Irish pole vaulting up to international standards came to fruition at the weekend when she cleared the Turin qualifying standard of 4.20 while winning the Celtic Cup in Cardiff. Although not confirmed, it all but assures the former Commonwealth Games gymnast selection onto the Irish team for the Turin championships.

If Brown is selected she will join fellow jumpers Kelly Proper in the Long Jump and Deirdre Ryan in the High Jump. Proper also won in Cardiff at the weekend but was a little below par which is allowed once in a while especially when she has been burning up both track and runway in the past few weeks and leaving British Olympic stars Christine Ohuruogo and Jade Johnson in her wake.

Other big name stars competing at the weekend included both Paul Hession and Derval O’ Rourke at the Birmingham Grand Prix and while both were a little off their seasonal bests they will still be focused on Turin. Another athlete not officially selected for Turin is David Gillick and while the DSD athlete lost his world leading rank over to weekend to both Claudio Licciardello of Italy and Leslie Djhone of France he won’t be too discouraged especially considering nobody has gone below the 46 second mark indoors and everybody is very much within his range and beatable.