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Gillick our best Indoor shot

WITH Derval O'Rourke not travelling, David Gillick is Ireland's best hope of a medal at the World Indoors Championships with his 400m heats taking place in Doha, Qatar tomorrow.

Gillick, twice European indoor champion over 400m, who finished sixth at the World track and field outdoors last summer, has a very good chance of taking his first world medal.

The DSD man is ranked second fastest of the Doha entry behind the USA's Bershawn Jackson thanks to his Irish record time of 45.52 set in Birmingham a few weeks ago.

Top ranked pair Torrin Lawrence, aged 20, from the USA and 17-year-old James Kirani of Granada aren't travelling. Also running for the USA is Jamaal Torrance. Brian Gregan of Clonliffe Harriers will also line out in the 400m heats after recently improving his personal best to 46.68 seconds in Vienna.

Gillick and Gregan will have a second shot at a medal in the men's 4 x 400m relay. Making up the squad are Nick Hogan of DSD, UCC's Brian Murphy, Billy Ryan of Ferrybank and Tim Crowe of Dooneen.


Gillick and David McCarthy of Le Chéile were members of the Irish team that won a bronze at the World Indoors in Budapest with a time of 3:10.44. McCarthy runs over 800m in Doha after finishing in 1:48.29 in Vienna last month.

Leading the Irish women's entry is Ferrybank long jumper Kelly Proper who broke her own Irish record when she jumped 6.62m in Vienna last January. Proper has continued her build-up by winning both Irish and UK titles.

High jumper Deirdre Ryan of DSD nailed down her place on the team when she won the French indoor title with a leap of 1.90m. Ryan set an Irish indoor record of 1.93m last year.

Sprinter Claire Brady of Celbridge AC competes in the women's 60m.

In the middle distances, Deirdre Byrne of Sli Cualann and DSD's Hazel Murphy compete in the 3000m. Over 1500m, national champion Kelly McNeice from City of Lisburn is joined by Rose-Anne Galligan of Newbridge, who ran 4:12.72 at the Spanish Championships.

p Setanta Ireland will broadcast extensively from Doha, starting at 6am tomorrow morning.