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Page last updated at 15:45 GMT, Saturday, 12 June 2010 16:45 UK

Jason Smyth sets new men's 100m Northern Ireland record

Jason Smyth
Jason Smyth showed the benefit of his winter training stint in the US

Sprinter Jason Smyth set a new Northern Ireland record of 10.32 seconds for the 100 metres at the Northern Ireland Championships at the Antrim Forum.

Smyth took 0.03 seconds off the record and was just 0.02 seconds outside the Commonwealth Games standard as he recorded a new personal best by 0.09.

Amy Foster's time of 11.32 in the women's 100m would have been a new NI record but for an illegal wind reading.

James McIlroy and Kelly McNeice were both comfortable 800m winners.

McIlroy won in a time of 1:50.82 after some good pacemaking by Gareth Turnbull, with Adam Ingram second.

St Malachy's athlete Turnbull charged to the bell in under 51 seconds before dropping out after 470 metres but the windy conditions took their toll on McIlroy's attempts to achieve the Commonwealth standard of 1:47.30.

Turnbull won the 1500m title 45 minutes later although it was a pedestrian race with the 31-year-old kicking clear to win in 4:04.69 ahead of his team-mate and Beijing Paralympics gold medallist Michael McKillop (4:05.72).

Turnbull and McIlroy will again be in opposition next Saturday when they run a 1500m in Bilbao.

Ciara Mageean won the 1500m in 4:20.96 and she will continue her A-Levels over the next two weeks as well as building up to her main athletics challenge of the summer - the World Junior Championships in Canada.

Mageean dominated the race from the off with her training partner Emma Mitchell taking second in 4:33.52.

James McIlroy
James McIlroy after winning the men's 800m at Antrim

Lagan Valley 16-year-old Katie Kirk upset favourite Jo Patterson in the women's 400m race, clocking a personal best of 55.04 to runner-up Patterson's 56.15.

Kirk's time moved her to third in the UK Under-17 rankings and the daughter of former British 800m international Mark Kirk is one of Northern Ireland athletics' big hopes for the future.

Stephen Scullion (14:32.01) and Kerry Harty (16:43.95) were the 5000m winners in a single race featuring the men and women but the windy conditions meant that Commonwealth Games times were never on the cards.

After his success, European-Championship-bound Smyth, who broke Paul Brizzel's 10-year-old NI record, said: "I'm in the shape of my life and have no doubt I can go into the 20s".

Indeed, Smyth may well achieve the Commonwealth standard when competing for Ireland in next week's European Team Championship meeting in Budapest, given the better opposition and the expected warmer conditions.

Smyth recently returned home after a winter and spring stint in the US when his training partners included American star Tyson Gay.

Steven Colvert was second in the 100m in 10.79 and Dean Adams third in 10.82 as the wind dropped to .5 metres per second - well inside the legal limit.

Women's 100m winner Foster wasn't so fortunate as the reading of 4.4 metres per second meant that her 11.32 clocking won't go into the record books.

However with high-quality races in Europe coming up, Foster looks to have good chances of bettering the European (11.50) and Commonwealth (11.45) standards.

Claire Wilkinson won the pole vault with 3.65m, with Zoe Campbell second, also on 3.65m.

Emma Doherty won the 3K walk in 14.56.10, while the men's winner was James Treanor in 13.17.94.

The event doubled as the Commonwealth Games trials with only Mageean and McNeice so far having secured qualification for Delhi.

see also
Mageean sets new schools record
05 Jun 10 |  Athletics
Harty sets new NI 5,000m record
30 May 10 |  Athletics
Smyth sets personal bests in US
16 May 10 |  Athletics
US stint boosts Turnbull fitness
12 May 10 |  Athletics
Smyth impresses in season opener
21 Apr 10 |  Athletics
Sprinter Smyth claims Irish title
02 Aug 09 |  Athletics
Smyth claims second Beijing gold
16 Sep 08 |  Disability Sport

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