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Eaton sets Athlone standard

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Brianne Theisen Eaton competes in the women's high jump event during the AIT International Arena Grand Prix

Brianne Theisen Eaton competes in the women's high jump event during the AIT International Arena Grand Prix

SPORTSFILE

Brianne Theisen Eaton competes in the women's high jump event during the AIT International Arena Grand Prix

THREE new stadium records, including one by Olympic decathlon champion Ashton Eaton, were set at Athlone IT's international Grand Prix last night.

American superstar Eaton ran his second fastest 60m ever when he won the flat sprint in 6.69 seconds, Britain's Alex Al-Ameen set another AIT record in 60m hurdles (7.97) and Ferrybank's Kelly Proper set one in long jump (6.49) as well as winning the 60m flat in 7.44 seconds.

An attempt to run the first indoor sub-four mile in Ireland failed narrowly when it was won by Kilkenny's Eoin Everard in 4:03.08 but one of the biggest performances of the night came from Lagan Valley's Katie Kirk.

QUALIFYING

She knocked over two seconds off her personal best when winning the 800m in 2:03.58 which was the equivalent of the qualifying standard for next summer's Commonwealth Games.

Earlier, it was confirmed just five athletes will represent Ireland at next month's World Indoor Championships in Poland as Lisburn sprinter Amy Foster has declined selection because she wants to concentrate on her outdoor season.

Donegal 800m star Mark English (UCD) is the only man on the team for Sopot (March 7-9) which includes two other half-milers in his UCD teammate Ciara Everard and Newbridge's Rose-Anne Galligan.

David McCarthy (West Waterford) has qualified for the 1,500m and 3,000m and DSD's British-born Claire Tarplee will also compete at 1,500m.

Meanwhile, double Olympic champion Mo Farah has announced that he will contest the New York City Half Marathon on March 16 as part of his preparations for the London Marathon in April. Farah, who triumphed over 5,000 and 10,000 metres at the London Olympics and also took gold in both events at the World Championships in Moscow last year, previously won the NYC Half in 2011.

"It will be my second time to compete in this event, after my win there in 2011. I have been training hard in Kenya and hope to use the New York race to gauge my fitness one month out from my 26.2 mile debut."

New York Road Runners president Mary Wittenberg added: "We're very excited to welcome Mo back to the NYC Half. This is a huge thrill for New Yorkers, who will get to see the world's top distance runner on the streets of Manhattan.

"Mo's star quality and fan following are unmatched in our sport, and we are honoured to have him highlight our professional field."

Irish Independent