Ireland team takes shape ahead of Euros
Athletics Ireland has preselected an eight-strong team for the upcoming European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg at the beginning of March.
Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers AC), Ciaran O’Lionaird (Leevale AC), Derval O’Rourke (Leevale AC), Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC), Ciara Everard (UCD AC), Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC), David McCarthy (West Waterford AC) and Tori Pena (Finn Valley AC) are all assured of places on the flight to Sweden in their respective events.
Gregan, ranked number one in Europe this year in the 400 metres, 3000m runner O'Lionaird, hurdler O'Rourke and Britton - better known for her exploits in the cross country realm - are expected to provide Ireland with its best medal hopes.
John Travers (Donore Harriers) has achieved the qualifying standard for both the 1500m and the 3000m, while Stephen Scullion (North Belfast Harriers) has attained the prerequisite mark in the 3000m.
Both men will be waiting anxiously to discover if they are added to the Ireland team when selection process closes on Sunday.
Mark English (Letterkenny AC) also dipped under the qualification standard of 1:48.50 in the 800m when setting a personal best of 1:48.44 at the national championships. However, the World Junior finalist has made the decision not to compete in order to now turn his focus on training and preparation for the European Under-23 Championships in Finland in July.
Athletics Ireland high performance director Kevin Ankrom is expecting a successful campaign in Sweden.
“We definitely have the opportunity to win medals with the profile of performers competing in their respective events.
“As well, with the performance standards achieved by these athletes I have confidence that our team selected for the 2013 European Indoor Championships will be very competitive.”