Ciara Mageean wins 800m at Northern Ireland Championships

Ciara Mageean in action at the European Indoor Championships earlier this year
Ciara Mageean (right) showed impressive form in Rome on Thursday night

Ciara Mageean followed her impressive 1500m outing in Rome on Thursday night by clinching a comfortable 800m win at the Northern Ireland Championships.

The Portaferry woman admitted to some tiredness after a busy day of travelling on Friday and further morning drive from Dublin to Belfast.

"My legs are a little heavy but I came here to get the win and I did that," said Mageean after clocking 2:07.49.

Mageean's 4:04.49 1500m in Rome booked her place at the World Championships.

In the loaded field at Thursday's Diamond League meeting, Mageean finished 10th but that still represented a fine run with several world-class performers behind the county Down woman.

Mageean set her personal best of 4:01.46 at the Diamond League series in Paris last August but she admits that she is still having to get used to racing in such high-class company.

"You are super nervous but that's where I want to be. I want it be a regular occurrence that I run in Diamond League meets."

Mageean to run at London Diamond League meet

Last year's European Championship bronze medallist will race in the London Diamond League meeting on 9 July and before that will have an 800m outing in Sligo the week after next.

The majority of the local athletes to have achieved Commonwealth Games consideration standards were in action at the Mary Peters Track although Rio Olympian Kerry O'Flaherty had to pull out of the 1500m after suffering a recurrence of her recent calf problem following a steeplechase outing in France on Friday.

Sprinter Leon Reid went closest to adding to the list of athletes with Commonwealth standards as his 200m heat time of 20.81 was only 0.04 outside the Gold Coast standard.

With a less favourable wind, Reid clocked 21.12 in the final to complete a sprint double after winning the 100m in 10.59 which left him ahead of Paralympic star Jason Smyth (10.76).

Emma Mitchell, who has the Commonwealth 10,000m standard, won the women's metric mile in 4:24.18 after showing an impressive turn of foot to pull away from Ann-Marie McGlynn on the final lap.

Letterkenny athlete Danny Mooney's hopes of achieving the 1500m standard of 3:41.10 were dashed as he ran out of gas on the final lap to clock 3:44.40 after being paced to 1000m by his club-mate Darren McBrearty.

Derry Track Club athlete Adam Kirk-Smith, who has the 3,000m steeplechase standard, finished third in 3:50.45 with City of Derry's Conor Bradley just over three seconds behind Mooney.

Michael McKillop
Michael McKillop will compete in the Paralympics World Championships in London in five weeks

McKillop encouraged by 1500m run

Michael McKillop showed encouraging form in the same race as a time of 4:04.17 left him in 10th place as he prepares for the IPC World Championships in London next month.

"I ran 4:16 recently so that was a big improvement today. I was very happy with that," said the four-time Paralympic gold medallist.

Amy Foster, who has achieved the 100m consideration standard, won the women's 200m in 24.13 which left her ahead of southern pair Steph Creanor (25.19) and Roisin Harrison (25.26) with 400m hurdler Christine McMahon (25.27) in fourth place.

After securing the Commonwealth 110m hurdles consideration standard with a 13.60 clocking last weekend, Ben Reynolds crossed the line in 13.99 on Saturday as windy conditions again affected a sprint event.

One of the performances of the day was produced by 16-year-old Beechmount Harrier Davicia Patterson who cut over a second off her 400m personal best as she clocked 54.50 to finish second.

DCH athlete Catherine McManus (54.36) was pushed all the way by the Belfast youngster who will represent Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas later this summer.

The men's 400m was also an excellent race as Ballymena & Antrim winner Craig Newell (47.31), runner-up Ben Maze (47.55) and Nenagh's Paul White (47.88) were all under 48 seconds.

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