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BIRMINGHAM IS GILLICK TARGET

David Gillick will open his indoor season over 400m at Saturday's Aviva Indoor Grand Prix in Birmingham.

The twice European Indoor champion is still undecided on competing at the World Indoors in Doha next month. Gillick will have a good idea of his current state of fitness when he takes on Ricardo Chambers of Jamaica and the USA's Jamaal Torrance in Birmingham.

Whatever Gillick decides, Ireland is sure to have at least one athlete in the men's 400m at the World Indoors after Brian Gregan's superb time of 46.68 for second place in Vienna last Tuesday.

Gregan had a disappointing National Indoors, when he failed to qualify for the final, but still ran 47.57 to win the B final.

After their wins at the UK Trials last weekend, hurdler Derval O'Rourke and long jumper Kelly Proper both head for Birmingham as their preparations for Doha continue. O'Rourke will line up in the women's 60m Hurdles against British heptathlete Jessica Ennis. With sights set on a medal at Doha, the Leevale athlete hopes to improve on the time of 8.11 seconds she ran last weekend.

Proper, who set a new Irish record of 6.62m in Vienna last month, faces a formidable challenge in the long jump with the entry including Yargelis Savigne of Cuba.

Also in winning form at the UK Trials last weekend was Hazel Murphy of DSD who won the 3000m at a sprint with a personal best time of 9:02.81, inside the qualifying mark of 9:03 for Doha. Behind her in sixth came Ava Hutchinson in 9:14.80, Deirdre Byrne 7th in 9:22.61 and Kerry Harty 8th in 9:23.01. Byrne has already qualified for Doha.

In the 1500m, Rose Anne Galligan from Newbridge finished second with a new personal best time of 4:15.13, and hopes to make the Doha standard over the next few days. Kelly McNeice from Lisburn, who has qualified for the World Indoors, was third in 4:17.06 and will run in Birmimham as a pacemaker in the women's two-mile race.

Three Irish women made the 60m women's final. Clare Brady of Celbridge finished fourth in 7.40 seconds with Ferrybank's Niamh Whelan fifth in 7.52. In Vienna, Leevale's Ailis McSweeney was second in the 60m with a time of 7.43 - enough to rank her second behind Brady this season.


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