Ben Reynolds named in Ireland team for World Indoors

Ben Reynolds
Ben Reynolds has already qualified to represent Ireland in this year's European Championships

North Down hurdler Ben Reynolds is one of only three athletes who will compete for Ireland at next month's World Indoors Championships in Istanbul.

Reynolds will make his first senior appearance for Ireland after achieving the 60m hurdles standard while Derval O'Rourke and Ciaran O'Lionaird will also compete in Turkey.

O'Rourke will be aiming to repeat her 2006 World Indoor 60m hurdles triumph.

O'Lionaird looks capable of challenging for a medal in the 1500m.

The Corkman finished a superb 10th in his major championship debut at last year's world outdoor championships in Daegu and has produced impressive on the US indoor circuit in recent weeks.

O'Lionaird clocked 3:54.76 for the mile indoors earlier this month which is the eighth fastest time in the world this season.

"It's a great honour to represent Ireland at a global event again," said O'Lionaird.

"The competition will be really tough but my preparation has gone very well but I need to be tactically aware in order to make sure I progress to the final.

"I am hoping to improve on my placing from Daegu and gain more experience for London."

O'Rourke's preparation for these championships has not been ideal with a slight foot niggle curtailing her planned racing schedule.

Her season's best of 8.16 places her well down the world rankings and .32secs down on her personal best and Irish record set when she won the 2006 title in Moscow.

However, O'Rourke is a renowned championship competitor and it wouldn't be a surprise to see her run well in Turkey.

After missing the world indoor standard by .01secs when winning the Irish Championships in Belfast, Reynolds exactly matched the Istanbul mark of 7.74 a week later in Belgium.

The Holywood hurdler will be hoping to improve his best time again at the championships.

Brian Gregan achieved the 400m qualifying standard for the Istanbul championships but has opted not to compete in Turkey.