Foster breaks 33 year old NI 200m Record in Turkey
Lisburn AC's Amy Foster finally broke the 33 year old NI 200 metres record when representing Ireland in yesterday's First League of the European Athletics Championships in Izmir,Turkey.
22 year old Foster set new figures of 23.58 secs against a headwind when she finished 6th in her race behind Jamile Samuel of the Netherlands who won in 23.28 secs.
Amy's time takes 0.04 secs off Linda M'Curry's 1978 record set in Edmonton. This 7th record this season by a NI athlete capped a superb 2 days for the Bangor woman as she also took 4th in the 100 metres in a time of 11.60 secs which was marginally short of her PB.
Amy will now be targeting a "B" standard time for this year's World Champs.
In contrast City of Derry's Jason Smyth expressed dissatisfaction with his 4th place in the 100 metres which was won as expected by Norway's Jaysuma Ndure in 10.19 secs.
Smyth's time of 10.44 secs was some way adrift of his recent NI record of 10.22 secs set in Florida. The double Paralympic champion was very frank when he said; "I've done too much travelling and have not recovered so I felt wrecked all week.I am not happy at all with the performance but I will go back ,talk to my coach and put things right for the rest of the year". There was some consolation for Smyth when he helped Ireland snatch 3rd place in the relay in 39.61 secs.
In the Women's 1500 metres Portaferry's Ciara Mageean had to settle for 4th place in 4.27.20 after a tactical race where no-one was prepared to inject any notable pace until the last lap.
Ciara was in an attacking position with 150 metres left but lost out in a sustained home straight sprint which was won by Norway's Ingvill Makestad in 4.25.92 Coach Eamon Christie said he was satisfied with Ciara's performance given the difficult nature of the race.
Letterkenny's Darren McBrearty was on the receiving end of another tactical race in the 800 metres where a mass sprint for the line could only secure him 9th place in 1.52.31 secs which was only 1.5 secs behind the winner.
In other performances by Ulster athletes Stephen Scullion was 8th in the 5,000 metres in 14.26.41,Alan Kennedy was 9th in the triple jump in 14.68 metres and Mary O'Loone finished 11th in her triple jump with 12.42 metres. Ireland finished in tenth place of twelve at the European Team Championships in Izmir Turkey with 224.5 points, ahead of Slovenia with 200.5 points, securing a place in the First League for 2013 when Athletics Ireland hopes to host the event.
Meanwhile at the Irish Miler's Club meeting in Dublin huge PB's were the order of the day for several Northern athletes. NI 1500 metres champion Daniel Mooney took over 2 secs off his 800 metres PB to set new figures of 1.50.63.
Another best time came from City of Derry's Conor Bradley (1.51.69) while there were good runs by Finn Valley's Noel Collins (1.51.18) and Derry's Pajo Hamilton (1.55.76). Other best performances came from Annadale's Andrew Agnew in the 5,000 metres (14.40.31) and teammate Eddie McGinley in the 1500 metres where his 3.56.23 time was his 5th PB of the year.
There were comfortable wins for Lisburn's Kelly McNeice in the 800 metres(2.07.16) and Newcastle's Kerry Harty over 1500 metres where her time of 4.17.95 was her 3rd best ever. Karen Alexander (Sperrin Harriers) won a magnificent silver medal for Ireland in the World Long-Distance Challenge in Slovenia.
The course was held over a very testing 37 kilometres with 2500m of ascent and 2800m of descent. With full teams entered from the USA, Russia, England, Scotland, Wales, Poland, Czech Republic and host country Slovenia, the depth of competition was high.
Midway through the race Alexander was in 11th position but place by place she moved through the field to claim silver in a time of 4 hours and 16 minutes. English runner Philippa Maddans won the gold with Helen Fines (ENG) in bronze.
North Belfast's Cathy Mc Court won the W35 category at yesterday's British Masters' 5k road running championships in England at the Horwich Festival of Racing. Over a tough hilly course, Mc Court, the NI 10K champion, finished third overall in the race won by Scotland's Fiona Matheson from Falkirk who set a new Masters' record of 17.06. Bev Jenkins(Salford) was third.