Katie Kirk has to settle for third spot in season opener in Belfast

Katie Kirk (left) tracks eventual runner-up Katy Brown in the 800m event at Saturday's Irish Milers Club meeting
Katie Kirk (left) was a semi-finalist at last year's Commonwealth Games

Katie Kirk had to settle for a third-place finish as she began her summer campaign at the Irish Milers Club meeting at Belfast's Mary Peters Track.

In a meet jointly run by Beechmount Harriers, Kirk clocked 2:07.53 in the 800m which left her behind British pair Alexandra Bell and Katy Brown.

English woman Bell won in 2:03.24 ahead of Brown (2:04.93) with Kirk some five seconds outside her personal best.

Locals Jake Harbinson and James Edgar achieved European Youth Olympics marks.

Harbinson was inside the 800m standard for the championships in Tbilisi in late July as he improved his personal best to 1:55.79 in the B race.

The City of Lisburn youngster was just behind Finn Valley's Aaron McGlynn whose new best of 1:54.85 was also inside the mark for the Georgia championships.

James Edgar has also represented Ireland in triathlon events
City of Lisburn athlete James Edgar achieved the European Youth Olympics standard as he won the men's 3000m in Belfast

Irish international triathlete Edgar, who also represents City of Lisburn, produced a tremendous run to win the men's 3000m in 8:32.81 which was well inside the Tbilisi qualifying standard of 8:40.

Held in perfect conditions, the well-attended meeting produced several exciting races with the top five finishers in the men's 800m A race all going under one minutes and 50 seconds.

Ferrybank athlete Niall Tuohy took victory in 1:49.38 just ahead of Tallaght runner Anthony Lieghio with Finn Valley's Mark Hoy completing the podium finishers with a 1:49.80 clocking.

British Milers Club regular Cameron Boyek had to settle for fourth in 1:49.94 with pre-race favourite Kilkenny man Eoin Everard only fifth in 1:49.96, just ahead of another British challenge Guy Smith (1:50.01).

Another City of Lisburn athlete Emma Mitchell (4:24.01) was pipped by Amy O'Donoghue in an entertaining 1500m race with the Limerick woman taking victory in 4:23.30, although the northerner had the consolation of improving her personal best by four seconds..

Mitchell is chasing qualification for the European Under-23 Championship in Tallinn in July and she will need to duck under 4:17 in the coming weeks to achieve that ambition.

Willowfield athlete Andrew Wright improved his 1500m personal best to 3:50.25 as he took fourth in the metric mile.

Wright's target for the season is qualification for the European Junior Championships in Eskilstuna, Sweden with the B standard 3:49.00 and the A mark a tough 3:47.30.

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