Irish Indoor Championships: Kerry O'Flaherty impresses in Athlone

Kerry O'Flaherty
Kerry O'Flaherty may attempt to also land the 1500m title in Athlone on Sunday

Kerry O'Flaherty won the battle of the three Rio Olympics qualifiers as she earned an impressive 3,000m triumph at the Irish Indoor Championships.

The Newcastle athlete, 34, pulled away over closing laps to win in 9:11.17 with Sara Treacy (9:19.96) in second and Michelle Finn (9:21.93) third.

O'Flaherty may attempt to win the 1500m title in Athlone on Sunday.

Ciara Mageean easily qualified for the women's 800m final as she won her heat in 2:08.85.

Rio Olympics-qualified Mageean, 23, has set new Irish indoor 1500m and mile records in recent weeks but has indicated that she will opt out of competing at next month's World Indoor Championships.

Letterkenny man Mark English showed that he looks in good shape for a strong performance in Oregon as he clocked an impressive 1:48.15 in his 800m heat.

The UCD medical student was having a cut at the 1:46.50 world indoor qualifying standard, and, although he didn't reach that mark, he can still be selected.

""I didn't feel there was any reason not to," as he explained his fast pace from the gun.

"It's a perfect opportunity to try and get two races back-to-back.

"I think the most important thing is to analyse how you felt afterwards and I felt strong so that's good. I'm happy with how today went."

English's fellow Letterkenny man Brendan Boyce won his first Irish Indoor title as he clinched the men's 5K walk in 20:17.81.

"After 12 attempts at national indoors I finally came home with the gold," said Boyce happily afterwards.

The Donegal man will race in three weeks over 20km in Slovakia.

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