Mark English will lead the Irish Indoors entries in Athlone

Mark English after finishing third in the 800m final at the European Championships in August
Mark English produced a brilliant run in Zurich last August to win European 800m bronze

European bronze medallist Mark English will be the main attraction at the Irish Indoor Championships but there will also be a strong supporting cast.

English has already been given a spot in Sunday's 800m final in Athlone as he will race in Birmingham on Saturday.

He has not yet achieved the European Indoor standard of 1:48.50 but will be fancied to do that over the weekend.

Ciara Mageean, Paul Pollock and Katie Kirk will be among the Northern Ireland athletes in action in Athlone.

Letterkenny man English's 800m rivals in Athlone should include Declan Murray who has already achieved the European Indoor standard.

Mageean and Pollock also have European Indoor 3000m standards in the bag and are likely to be named in the Irish team for the Prague championships next week.

Portaferry runner Mageean will move down to distance to the 1500m after clocking a new 3000m personal best of 8:55.09 at the Millrose Games in New York last weekend.

Holywood runner Paul Pollock
Paul Pollock is scheduled to face Ciaran O'Lionaird and John Travers in the 3000m in Athlone

Mageean is likely to face Claire Tarplee providing the Dundrum South Dublin athlete comes through her 1500m outing in Birmingham on Saturday.

Pollock, who dipped under the European 3000m standard with a 7:59 clocking a few weeks ago, is scheduled to take on Ciaran O'Lionaird and John Travers over the distance in Athlone.

Travers has already achieved the European Indoor 1500m mark while Corkman O'Lionaird will be chasing the Prague 3000m standard of 8:00.00.

Kirk will go in her specialist 800m where she will be chasing the European Indoor mark of 2:03.50 against Ciara Everard who already has achieved the Prague standard.

Kirk's Commonwealth Games team-mate Amy Foster will miss the Athlone meeting as she is still being troubled by an illness that she picked up earlier in the winter.

With Foster not racing, Kelly Proper and Phil Healy are likely to battle it out in the women's 60m with both chasing the European Indoor standard of 7.36.

Waterford woman Proper already has won a record 16 Irish Indoor titles and will also be in action in the long jump and the 200m.

The men's 60m hurdles could be a competitive affair with the emerging talent Gerard O'Donnell taking on North Down's Ben Reynolds.

Carrick-on-Shannon athlete O'Donnell recently set a personal best and European Indoor qualifying mark of 7.73 which is .01 faster than Reynolds's lifetime best.

Top Stories