22 February, 2011

Athletics: Cork pair will lead Ireland into European Indoor Athletics Championships:

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Cork's Derval O'Rourke and Ailis McSweeney (pictured left) will lead the Irish team at next week's European Indoor Championships in Paris. The two are heading a seven strong Irish contingent with McSweeney in particular in fine form having run a PB in the 60m at last weekend's Irish Indoor Irish Championships. 
The Carrigtwohill native, the Irish 100m record holder, won in a time of 7.32 seconds, helping her earn the "Athlete of the Championship" award. Last year Ailis came off a national record in the 100m to make it to the semi-finals at the European (Outdoor) Championships in Barcelona, failing by just 1/100th of a second to make the Final. She should now make the final in Paris next week.
O'Rourke celebrates silver at last year's European Outdoors
O'Rourke (pictured right) didn't run in the Irish Championships in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast as a precaution and should be in excellent physical shape for her 60m hurdles heat on Friday week. 
All seven athletes selected have shown good form this winter with McSweeney, Pena, Proper and Gregan all winning over their rivals in Belfast. Mary Cullen ran a season's best over 3,000 on Saturday of 8:53:01 at the Aviva Grand Prix in Birmingham, before claiming the Irish 1,500m indoor title at the Odyssey Arena yesterday.
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