Ciara Mageean to return to Mary Peters Track for Belfast International meeting

Ciara Mageean was previously coached by Belfast International meeting director Eamonn Christie
Ciara Mageean achieved the Olympic 1500m standard last summer

Olympic Games-bound Ciara Mageean will return to the Mary Peters Track to race over 3,000m at the Belfast International meeting on 7 May.

Mageean's confirmation that she will run has delighted meeting director, Eamonn Christie, who coached the Portaferry athlete for several years.

"The entries have been coming together really well and Ciara's confirmation is more great news," said Christie.

Mageean, 24, booked her Rio berth by achieving the 1500m standard last year.

The county Down woman ran well in the winter as she set new Irish indoor 1500m and mile records but it will be interesting to see her form at the Mary Peters Track where Christie helped to develop her talent.

Highlight of their successful partnership was Mageean's sensational World Junior Championship 1500m silver medal in Moncton in 2010.

Mageean's 3000m personal best of 8:55.09 was set indoors so Roisin Smith's Northern Ireland outdoor record of 8:55.38 set in 1990 could be under threat.

While Mageean, now coached in Dublin by Jerry Kiernan, will be the big attraction at the meeting, a plethora of other talented international athletes will also be in action.

Poland's European Junior Championship bronze medallist Matusz Borkowski, who has an 800m personal best of 1:47.73, will be joined in the two-lap event by his compatriot Gurdak Kamil (pb 1:47.34).

The women's 800m is shaping up to possibly be the race of the meeting with last year's winner England's Alexandra Bell set to take on a field which will include local athletes Katie Kirk, Aislinn Crossey, Erin McIlveen and Kelly Neely plus another Polish visitor Monika Halasa and Irish international Laura Crowe.

Ballymena & Antrim's European Championship hopeful Christine McMahon will be in a women's 400m hurdles field which includes her fellow Irish international Jessie Barr plus British duo Jess Turner and Georgina Rogers.

The men's 3000m is set to feature Irish middle distance talent John Travers while organisers are hopeful that Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games athlete Leon Reid may travel over from his Bath base to compete in the 200m.

The meeting is being jointly organised by Athletics Northern Ireland, Beechmount Harriers and the Irish Milers Club.

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