Sunday 21 January 2018

Morrison shows Olympic potential

IRELAND'S top triathlete Aileen Morrison proved she will be a serious contender at the Olympics by finishing second at the Madrid race of the Triathlon World Series.

The Derry star came out of the water in 26th position but did particularly well on the run leg, leading with 1,000m to go before being overtaken by Switzerland's Nicola Sprig. However, she held on to finish just three seconds adrift and two clear of Chile's highly-ranked Barbara Riveros Dias.

Enniskillen's Gavin Noble, whose Olympic place will be confirmed in the coming days, pulled out of the men's race at the run stage yesterday with a niggle when it became clear that no one could overtake him in the rankings. He is ranked 44th, and the top 55 will go to London.

Meanwhile, rising Donegal runner Mark English underlined his potential by knocking over a second off his Irish junior 800m record (1:47.09) when winning a high-class race in Oordegem, Belgium in 1:45.77.


English's time was only a tenth of a second off the Olympic 'A' standard and relegated Marcus O'Sullivan to sixth on the all-time Irish list. It also clinched qualification for this summer's European and World Junior Championships for the 19-year-old from Letterkenny.

Ferrybank's Jessie Barr, still chasing the Olympic 'A' standard of 55.50, ran a 400m hurdles personal best of 56.16 when she was second at the same Belgian meeting.

Crusaders' Steven Colvert, who won the 200m in Dessau (Germany) on Friday night in 20.78 (just one hundredth off his PB), maintained his superior form over Paul Hession in Oordegem, by running 10:60 and 20:91 to the Galway sprinter's 10:65 and 21.06.

Orla Drumm (UCC) also ran a PB in the 1,500m and qualified for the European Championship when running 4:09.05 in Dessau.

Irish Independent

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