TRACK AND Field dominates this weekend with top class action involving local athletes in Dublin and Tullamore while the North-West road race season continues tonight in Cranford with the annual JG Memorial 4.2 miler at the Donegal venue.
Jason Smyth (above) , Pajo Hamilton and Connor Bradley will be in Dublin’s Santry Stadium tonight for a major meeting to celebrate 125 years of the famous Clonliffe Harriers.
Many of the top Irish performers will be in action and a host of International stars will add significantly to the mix at the world renowned Dublin stadium.
Eglinton Sprinter, Smyth is entered in both the 100m and 200m with serious Irish opposition augmented by a couple of seriously quick men from the Caribbean and weather-permitting, the Spartan will be looking to celebrate his return from his Florida base with an assault on his PBs for both sprint distances.
Smyth was said to be extremely tired after his exertions at the European Team Championships - which followed a busy period of racing and travelling in the US.
The Derry man then clocked times of 10.6 and 21.5 for the sprints at a Paralympic event in Dublin and coach, Stephen Maguire is optimistic that the sprinter is now fresh again.
Conditions will determine everything for the sprinters so fingers crossed that the weather gods will smile on Santry tonight.
Connor Bradley has done well recently over both 80m and 1,500m, chalking up impressive PBs for both, but tonight he goes in what should be a very competitive 3,000m.
A large field of 30 odd has been accepted including most of the home based and ex-pat middle distance talent, so the local man should have every opportunity to make a bold statement tonight.
Pajo Hamilton goes in one of the Irish Milers Club’s competitive 800m races on the programme and, like his clubmate, he will be keen to continue the improved form he has shown already this season.
Tullamore hosts the first leg of the National Juvenile championships over the weekend with athletes from both City of Derry Spartans and Olympian travelling to chase medals.
The extensive programme extends over both Saturday and Sunday and the Spartans have a total of 15 athletes in the fray this weekend.
All the locals in action qualified from the recent NI/Ulster Championships in Antrim and arguably those with the most medal potential this weekend are sprinter/hurdler, Mark McGarvey; 800m star Shane McGowan; sprinters Ryan McParland and Jack McCloskey; hurdlers Ciara Armstrong and Andrew Bolster and sprinter/jumper Anna Barr.
Back to road racing and confirmation that tonight’s Cranford event has the usual 7.30 p.m. start time. A bit of a lull then until next Thursday, July 14th and the Coleraine 10K out of the UU Coleraine Sports Centre at 7 p.m. and on Friday, July 15th it’s back to Donegal for the Churchill Fair, Letterkenny 5k with a 7.30 p.m. start.
The final race in the 2011 Furey Insurances 5K Series is on Wednesday evening, July 20th and is set for the standard Baliniska circuit at 7.30 p.m.
Race HQ will be in the Sports Complex where entries will be taken from 6 p.m. Another big turnout is expected as the final race in the successful six strong series will sort out the overall series category winners and the recipients of the much coveted series t-shirts. More details next week.
Tullamore hosts the first leg of the National Juvenile championship