Athletics Ireland has selected teams for the upcoming World Indoor Championships and World Half Marathon Championships. Mark English (UCD) and Rose-Anne Galligan (Newbridge) for the World Indoors in Portland, Oregon (March 17th-20th) while Lizzie Lee (Leevale) and Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) lead the Irish entries for the World Half in Cardiff on March 26th.
English has been selected in the 800m with Galligan in the 1500m. The UCD medical student has a season’s best of 1:46.99 which he set at the Glasgow International and will have hopes of adding to his medal collection – a European outdoor (Zurich) bronze medal in 2014 and a silver medal at the European Indoors (Prague) last year.
Galligan, the national outdoor 800m record holder, set a personal best of 4:11.07 for the 1500m at the Athlone International and will be looking to put in a competitive performance. There is still potential for more names to be added to the squad depending on the IAAF ranking list.
“It is a small but elite team for the World Indoors due to the European Championships and Olympic Games this summer,” said Athletics Ireland High Performance Director Kevin Ankrom. “Mark (English) is a championship racer and we expect him to do well in Portland. Rose-Anne has wintered well and it will be good for her 800m development.”
Lizzie Lee (Leevale) will be the sole Irish woman in Cardiff due to the racing calendar and plans of the other leading Irish women. Fionnuala McCormack will run in the New York Half Marathon on March 20th before running over 10,000m on the track in Stanford on April 2nd. This is as part of her training preparations with the goal of getting a qualifying standard over 10,000m at the European Championships in Amsterdam in July and also potentially in Rio.
Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) will lead a full men’s team of five and will be looking to replicate his performance at the last edition of the Championships in Copenhagen in 2014 where he ran a swift 62:10 for 30th – still his personal best for the event. Pollock will also use the event as a sharpener for the London Marathon in April 17th where he hopes to seal a place on the Olympic marathon team.
A strong quartet of Kevin Seaward (St Malachy’s), Segiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers), Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham) and Thomas Frazer (Crusaders) will flank Pollock in Wales as they bid to put in a good performance.
Ankrom is happy with selections and feels it fits in well with Olympic preparations. “The world half fits in well with Olympic marathon preparation and should provide an excellent marker for our athletes. Some weren’t available as they have recently raced a marathon or are focused on their individual preparations for the upcoming spring marathons.”
Source: Athletics Ireland