Ireland to send a team of four to World Indoor Championships

Amy Foster, Ciara Neville, Phil Healy and Ciara Mageean will head for Birmingham

Phil Healy will be one of the four-strong Ireland team at the World Indoor Championships. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

Phil Healy will be one of the four-strong Ireland team at the World Indoor Championships. Photo: Tommy Dickson/Inpho

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Four athletes, all women, will make up the Irish team for the World Indoor Championships, which take place at the Birmingham Arena the weekend after next.

Both Amy Foster and Ciara Neville are selected in the 60m metres. Foster was already an automatic qualifier, and the Lisburn athlete sealed her selection by improving the Irish indoor record to 7.27 seconds when winning the national title on Sunday. Neville took third in that race, clocking 7.35, but ran 7.30 last season – which had been the joint Irish record: still only 18, the Limerick athlete from Emerald AC has been running consistently this season and this also selected.

Phil Healy from Bandon AC was also already safely qualified in the 400m, and Ciara Mageean of UCD AC completes the team, selected in the 1,500m. Mageean didn’t compete on Sunday, having raced back-to-back over the previous weekend in Boston and New York, and is using the World Indoors as part of her build-up to the Commonwealth Games in Australia in April.

Athletics Ireland high performance director Paul McNamara said: “Amy Foster has had a superb indoor season, and after pushing out the National Record will go to Birmingham full of confidence. Phil Healy has led the way this season and goes into these championships looking to augment her growing reputation. Similarly, Ciara Neville has been very consistent this season and will relish being on the world stage as she continues to build for the future.

“Ciara Mageean has had solid back to back performances in the US and will be ready to kick on from there after a three week run-in. We still hope to see an invitation come from the IAAF for Adam McMullen, which would be huge boost for him and all our field event athletes.”

Mark English could probably have put himself in line for selection too, but is only flirting with this indoor season – winning another 800m title on Sunday in 1:53.53. English however will run at the Athlone Indoor International meeting this Wednesday evening.

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