Kirk-Smith achieves steeplechase Commonwealth Games time again

Adam Kirk-Smith
Adam Kirk-Smith hopes to compete in the 3,000m at the Commonwealth Games

Adam Kirk-Smith boosted his chances of being picked for the Commonwealth Games by achieving the 3,000m steeplechase standard for a second time.

Derry Track Club's Kirk-Smith clocked 8:37.41, cutting 0.21 seconds off his previous best set in May and coming well under the Games mark of 8:43.30.

Kerry O'Flaherty and Christine McMahon failed to make the women's steeplechase and 400m hurdles standards.

O'Flaherty was 5.46 seconds outside the Games mark of 9:54.00.

The county Down woman, who achieved her personal best of 9:42.61 at the Letterkenny International meeting in 2015, finished fifth on Friday night.

McMahon clocked 59.00 seconds in the 400m hurdles - 1.70 outside the Games consideration mark.

That left McMahon in second place behind English winner Meghan Beesley who triumphed in 58.32.

American Mel Lawrence won the women's steeplechase in a personal best of 9:36.35 ahead of Scotland's Lennie Waite (9:43.87) while Michelle Finn, who like O'Flaherty has been bothered by injury this season, was well off her personal best as she clocked 10:15.49.

O'Flaherty was out of racing for over a month after tearing a calf muscle at a British Milers Club meeting in Solihull in May.

After struggling in a number of races on the continent, the Newcastle athlete produced a season's best of 9:57 in Hungary on Monday night.

O'Flaherty will continue to chase the Commonwealth Games consideration mark in the coming weeks.

With Irish mile record holder Ray Flynn among those watching the meeting, American athlete Robert Domanic broke four minutes for the classic distance as he won the mile in 3:59.88.

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