The 17 year-old beats Ciara Mageean and takes her Irish 800m under-18 and under-20 records in the process.
Sarah Healy continued her systematic erasure of Ciara Mageean from the record books when she took both the Portaferry woman’s Irish Youth and Junior 800m records at the Belfast International on Tuesday evening (June 26).
The meeting was held in ideal conditions but fraught with timing and other technical difficulties that meant it ran an hour over its scheduled finishing time.
Pacemaker par excellence Sinead Denny took the field through the opening lap of the 800m in a swift 59 seconds before Ciara Mageean was left at the front of the field. Mageean led at 600m reached in 90 seconds with Claire Mooney leading the chase and Healy tucked in nicely on the inside of Sweden’s Anna Silvander.
That positions remained unchanged until the home straight when the County Down woman visibly started to falter under the challenge from Mooney. The dogged Kildare athlete finally got to the front with 30 metres to run but immediately came under attack from the Blackrock AC 17-year-old Healy who was finishing fastest of all.
Mooney held on to break the electronic beam in a personal best 2:02.61, just narrowly missing out on the 2:02.50 European qualifying mark.
Healy followed in 2:02.76 for new Irish Youth (U18) and Junior (U20) marks and removing the UCD AC athlete’s 2:03.07 from the record books on both counts. Healy has earlier taken most of Mageean’s national and schools’ 1500m records in a season that continues to get better with every outing.
Mageean had to settle for fourth in 2:03.19 which represents slow progress for her as she targets a repeat podium place in the 1500m at the European Championships in Berlin this August.
Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Leon Reid was denied a sprint double by Greece’s Likourgos-Stefanos Tsakonas. The Bath-based athlete strode to a comfortable win in the 100m with a 10.34 timing that was just one-hundredth of a second outside his best and showed no sign of his earlier exertions as he returned to track later in the evening for the 200m.
But the Greek ran a superb bend to give himself what proved to be a vital two metres lead entering the straight. Despite fighting all the way to line Reid had to accept defeat after a photo finish gave the win to Tsakonas with both men sharing a 20.69 timing.
In a closely contested men’s 200m A race, Tsakonas Stefanoslykpurgos just edges out Leon Reid to win in 20.69! #BelfastInternationalMeet pic.twitter.com/GxvCqvuHEm
— Athletics NI (@AthleticsNI) June 26, 2018
Annadale Strider Conall Kirk through in the final few metres to snatch victory in the men’s 800m with another personal best 1:50.37 timing. Sudan’s Sadam Koumi won a tight battle to see off the challenge of Raheny Shamrock Brandon Arrey to win the 400m in 46.83 seconds.
Crusaders AC’s Jason Harvey, who featured on Fast Running recently, looked to be getting back to his best form with a smooth win in the 400m hurdles in 52.14 seconds while North Down’s Ben Reynolds claimed his customary win at this meeting in the 110m hurdles in 13.92 (-0.7).
City of Lisburn’s Megan Marrs is another who continues to improve with every race and was only one-hundredth of a second outside the longstanding record of a certain Dame Mary Peters in the 100m hurdles with a 13.32 (-0.1) clocking.
City of Lisburn athlete also took both sprints with Amy Foster closing strongly in the 100m for a 11.90 finish and Lauren Roy first past the post in the 200m with a 24.54 (0.3) mark
There was a double in the local 3000m races for the North Down club with Craig McMeechan moving clear of the men’s field at the bell to win in 8:45.13. Jessica Craig was equally dominant in the women’s contest clocking 9:52.95.
The men’s javelin was probably the most competitive of the field events with Swiss athlete Laurent Carron winning with a throw of 67.60m. Jack Magee, in fifth, was the best of the home throwers.
Despite a lack of serious competition, Castlederg 18-year-old Sommer Lecky cleared 1.83 to win the women’s high jump. Jonathan Hill won the men’s long jump in 6.66m (0.0) and Mark Burton was the best of the triple jumpers with a 14.42m (0.0) best effort.