Adam Gemili: British star to race Leon Reid at Belfast International meeting
Thursday's Belfast International meeting will include Leon Reid's 200m battle with Adam Gemili plus a busy night for Ciara Mageean.
Gemili missed out on Olympic 200m bronze by three thousandths of a second in 2016 but helped Britain win the 4x100m World Championship gold in 2017.
His personal best of 19.97 from 2016 is 0.30 faster than Reid's set last year.
Mageean will be favourite to win the women's 800m and also plans to pace the 3,000m less than 20 minutes later.
The Portaferry runner's opponents in the two-lap race will include Britain's 2011 World Championship 1500m silver medallist Hannah England plus Irish trio Sarah Healy, Nadia Power and Katie Kirk.
With Mageean unavailable, Kirk has been named at 800m in Ireland's selection for the European Team Championships meeting in Norway on 9-11 August after producing a welcome return to form when taking second behind the Portaferry athlete in the Irish Championships on Sunday.
Other Northern Ireland selections in the Ireland team are Leon Reid (100m/4x100m), Ryan Forsyth (5,000m), Andrew Mellon (4x400m), Ellie McCartney (pole vault) and Kate O'Connor (javelin).
Recent European Under-23 bronze medallist Power was third in the slow-paced Irish final but Thursday's race in Belfast will surely be faster.
England, 32, has the fastest personal best in the 800m field with her 1:59.66 clocking in 2012 but has not been in that kind of form in recent years with her season's best 2:05.53.
If all goes to plan for Mageean in the 800m, she will then pace the women's 3,000m where British 10,000m champion Charlotte Arter is among the entries.
Reid retained Irish 200m title
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Reid will go into Thursday's meeting boosted by his retention of the Irish 200m title on Sunday.
Reid's time at Santry of 20.62 was a season's best after a somewhat slow to his campaign but Gemili's presence should spur him to a faster performance at the Mary Peters Track.
World University Games bronze medallist Marcus Lawler, narrowly beaten by Reid on Sunday, has withdrawn from Thursday's meeting but Santry third placer Stephen Gaffney, who clocked a stunning 20.39 in Belgium recently, is in the field.
However, Gemili will be the man to beat after running his fastest 100m in four years recently when he clocked 10.04 at the London Anniversary Games.
The Londoner appears to have fully recovered from the hamstring tear he suffered at the World Relays in Yokohama in May and looks to be a man on a mission this year after having his funding cut at the end of last season.
Reid will run the 100m and 4x100m relay for Ireland in the European Team Championships meeting with Lawler selected for 200m as the Irish selectors aim to ensure the maximum points share possible in the shorter sprint.
Paralympic star to compete in both sprints
Paralympic star Jason Smyth will also be in the 200m field in addition to running the 100m where the entry includes Welsh champion Sam Gordon, who ran a wind-assisted 10.08 earlier this month.
Derry Track Club athlete Smyth clocked a 100m season's best of 10.54 second in Saturday's heats at the Irish Championships before posting a 10.63 in Sunday's final which saw him narrowly pipped for the gold by Jamaican-born Tralee athlete Travane Morrison.
Britain's 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Bianca Williams leads the women's 200m entry where City of Lisburn's Irish Under-20 international Lauren Roy will be the top local contender.
2018 British Indoor champion Megan Marrs will continue her comeback from injury in a women's 100m hurdles which includes Irish number one Sarah Lavin while another former British champion David King looks the man to beat in the men's high hurdles.
Thursday's meeting also has a strong field events component with Finn Valley's World Junior silver medallist Sommer Lecky competing in the high jump and US-based Irish athlete Colin Quirke in action in the discus after throwing over 60 metres at the Irish Championships over the weekend.
The track programme will begin at 18:30 BST with the women's 100m hurdles with the final event, the men's 5,000m scheduled for 20:40.