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Page last updated at 19:33 GMT, Sunday, 2 August 2009 20:33 UK

Sprinter Smyth claims Irish title

By John Haughey
BBC Sport NI

Double Paralympics gold medallist Jason Smyth
Jason Smyth claimed the Irish 100m crown at Santry

Jason Smyth exploited Paul Hession's absence to win the 100 metres at the Woodie's DIY Irish Athletics Championship at Santry.

With Hession out because of a cold, double Paralympics gold medallist Smyth won in 10.78, into a headwind of nearly three metres per second.

Over the weekend, Kelly McNeice was second in the 1500m and 800m behind Deirdre Byrne and Roseanne Galligan.

Ballymena & Antrim's Claire Wilkinson won the pole vault.

Her club-mate Christine McMahon and St Malachy's Joe McAllister earned third places in the 400m hurdles and 10,000m.

Smyth's personal best of 10.42 set earlier this summer has already qualified him for next year's European Championships in Barcelona and his times for both sprints are surely going to get significantly faster.

Deirdre Byrne's metric mile win, where she clocked 4:25.41 to finish almost a second ahead of McNeice, may be enough to earn the Dubliner a place at the upcoming World Championships in Berlin.

Byrne has a World Championship B standard under her belt from last year.

With Ciara Mageean not competing at the Championships, Galligan clocked 2:04.44 to win the 800m ahead of former Irish champion McNeice (2:05.15).

Michelle Carey clocked 57.82 to win the women's 400m hurdles with European Youth Olympics medallist McMahon taking third in 62.91.

Alistair Cragg
Former Olympic finalist Alistair Cragg won the 5000 in 13:52

City of Derry's Tom Carey won the men's 400 hurdles in 52.28.

Former 10,000m champion McAllister had to settle for third in 30:53.43 in a race won by Kenyan native Josphat Boit, who was running in Clonliffe colours.

Another bronze went to Mid-Ulster's Adam McMullan who took third in the long jump with a wind-assisted 7.28m behind Stephen Fleming (7.56m).

Anna Boyle's struggles continued as she could only finish fifth in the 100m in 12.31 in another wind-affected race.

Ailis McSweeney (12.20) took the title by .01secs ahead of Kelly Proper, who had won the 200m and long jump on Saturday.

Of Ireland's World Championship contenders, Thomas Chamney was the most impressive as he held off a strong challenge from David Campbell to retain his 800m in 1:49.87.

Chamney is now guaranteed an 800m place in Berlin and he is also keen to be selected for the 1500m where he has a B standard this season.

David Gillick won the 200m on Saturday in 21.43 which left the way clear for youngster Brian Gregan to win over one lap on Sunday (46.44).

Alistair Cragg won the 5000 in 13:52 with the Eamon Christie-coached youngster James O'Hare taking sixth in 14:48.66.

Eileen O'Keeffe won the hammer title in a season's best of 69.91m although she will need to add on a couple of metres to have any ambitions of reaching the final in Berlin.

World Championship-bound Robert Heffernan won the 10K walk on Sunday while Olive Loughnane showed encouraging form ahead of Berlin by setting a personal best in winning the 5K walk title on Saturday.

Hession pulled out of the 100m final after winning his heat at lunchtime on Sunday.

Derval O'Rourke was also an absentee from the championships after feeling the effects of a virus.

see also
Gillick smashes Irish 400m mark
06 Jul 09 |  Athletics
Smyth claims second Beijing gold
16 Sep 08 |  Disability Sport

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