Mark English sets Irish indoor 800m record to book Worlds berth
Mark English stole the show at Athletics Ireland international meeting in Athlone as he broke the Irish 800 metre indoor record.
Letterkenny man English finished second behind Dutchman Thijmen Kupers in 1:46:82 lowering Daniel Caulfield's 13-year-old record by .39 of a second.
"I was absolutely thrilled with that," said English after he had lowered his own indoor best by nearly two seconds.
The run clinches English a place at the World Indoor Championships.
"I hope to continue this form in Stockholm on Thursday night," added English.
The Donegal man then plans a further outing at the major meeting in Birmingham prior to heading to the world indoors.
English admitted that his first-round exit at last year's World Championships in Moscow had thought him a cruel lesson.
"I've worked a lot at my endurance since the summer. I know I can compete with the best Africans and Americans," added English, who ducked under 1:45 outdoors last summer.
City of Lisburn's Amy Foster produced her fastest ever 60m indoor season-opener as she took victory in 7.40 ahead of Phil Healy (7.43).
Conor Bradley took fourth place in the 1500m as he posted a time of 3 minutes 43.37 seconds as Waterford man David McCarthy ducked under 3:40 to book his place in Poland.
Czech athlete Jakub Holusa took victory in an impressive 3:38:79 with McCarthy posting a time of 3:39:14.
Letterkenny man Brendan Boyce succumbed to new Irish recruit Alex Wright in the 3,000m walk, which accidently included an extra lap.
Wright was Great Britain's only walker at last Summer's Moscow World championships but has since declared for Ireland and joined Rob Heffernan's camp in Cork.
Lagan Valley athlete Katie Kirk took fourth spot in a highly competitive 800m clocking a time of 2:06:32, won by Poland's Anna Rostkowska.
Rostkowska out sprinted home town favourite Ciara Everard over the last 100 meters to win in 2:04:01.
Newry runner Aislinn Crossey, who acted as pacemaker in the 800m, posted a 25:87 seconds 200m clocking later in the day.