Ireland announce squad of five for World Indoors

Mark English hoping to continue fine form in Sopot next month

Mark English has been named in a five-strong Ireland team for the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Inpho

Mark English has been named in a five-strong Ireland team for the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland. Photograph: Ian MacNicol/Inpho

 

Just two men and three women will make up the Irish team for the World Indoor Championships in Sopot, Poland – and three of those are on the back of qualifying standards achieved last year.

The championships begin on Friday week, March 7th, and Mark English will go in the 800 metres, while David McCarthy is selected for both the 1,500m and 3,000m – both of those athletes having run inside the necessary qualifying standards in the recent weeks.

However, the three women – Ciara Everard and Roseanne Galligan in the 800m and Claire Tarplee in the 1,500m – are selected off times run during the 2013 indoor season.

Somewhat ironically, the only Irish woman with a qualifying time from this season is sprinter Amy Foster, who ran 7.32 seconds (the qualifying standard exactly) to win the national indoor title earlier this month. However, Foster has declined selection, and will focus instead on preparations for the outdoor season.

Athletics Ireland published their lengthy qualifying criteria in January, and while the qualification period did officially begin on January 1st, 2013, the criteria claimed that “stronger consideration for selection will be given to athletes who achieve the performance standard for their event during the 2014 season”.

English and McCarthy certainly meet that criteria: English, still only 20, ran 1:46.82 in Athlone in February, breaking the Irish senior indoor record of 1:47.21, which had stood to Daniel Caulfield since 2001, and inside the qualifying standard of 1:47.00; McCarthy also ran a new indoor personal best of 3:39.14, also at that meeting in Athlone, and inside the qualifying standard of 3:41.00

Everard and Galligan both ran in Prague earlier this week looking to go under the women’s 800m qualifying mark of 2:03.03. Everard ran a season’s best of 2:04.02, and Galligan 2:04.12. However, Everard ran 2:02.54 last season, while Galligan ran 2:02.84 – and having certainly proved their fitness, are thus selected for Sopot. Likewise with Tarplee, who was slightly short of the 4:14.00 qualifying time (running 4:14.61 last month), but ran 4:13.66 last season.

Based on all those times, only English and McCarthy would appear to have a chance of progressing to their finals, although Everard did make the European Indoor final in Gothenburg last March, and is coming into form at the right time.

Irish team, World Indoor Championships, Sopot, Poland March 7-9th
Mark English (UCD AC) 800m
David McCarthy (West Waterford AC) 1500m/3000m
Roseanne Galligan (Newbridge AC) 800m
Ciara Everard (UCD AC) 800m
Claire Tarplee (Dundrum South Dublin AC) 1500m

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