Mark English leads Irish squad of 12 named for European indoors
UCD student one of nine individual qualifiers for Championships in Prague on Friday week
English is one of nine individual qualifiers, and is also included in the men’s 4x400m relay team. The UCD medical student is aiming to match - or better - the bronze medal won over 800m at the European Championships outdoors in Zurich last summer.
Currently ranked fourth in the event, English underlined his form by winning the National Indoor title in Athlone on Sunday. He will be joined in the event by Declan Murray, who also competed in Zurich last summer.
John Travers and Danny Mooney both will both contest the 1,500m, Paul Pollock the 3,000m, Dara Kervick the individual 400m, and Ger O’Donnell the 60m hurdles. Adam McMullan is the only field event qualifier, in the long jump, while Ciara Everard is the only woman on the team, running the 800m.
The men’s 4x400m relay team will consist of English, Kervick, along with Timmy Crowe, Paul Murphy and Harry Purcell, all of whom are coached by John Shields.
English, however, is the only realistic medal prospect, and completed his preparations by running the Birmingham Grand Prix on Saturday, before winning in Athlone on the Sunday.
“It indicates to me that I am able to put able to put two races back to back and hopefully I can simulate that in the Europeans,” he says, “because that is going to be real challenge in a championships.
“It is a completely different discipline running indoors. That arch in the track is so much more difficult to pass on. But I’m fitter than I’ve ever been, and it’s just about fine-tuning the speed now, and recruiting as many fast twitch muscle fibres as possible. know what I need to do, and I’m just looking forward now to getting out to Prague, and give myself every chance.”
Two of Poland’s best (Adam Kszczot and Marcin Lewandowski) have already run 1:45 this season, and English - who ran 1:47.17 in Birmingham - know further improvement is necessary if he’s to repeat, or better, that bronze medal run from Zurich last Summer.
Ireland had two other qualifiers in Ciara Mageean, who withdrew from the 3,000m due a foot injury, and Tori Pena in the pole vault, who has opted not to compete.
Irish Team for European Indoor Athletic Championships Prague 5th-8th March 2015
400m Dara Kervick Clonliffe Harriers
800m Ciara Everard UCD AC
800m Mark English UCD AC
800m Declan Murray Clonliffe Harriers
1500m Danny Mooney Letterkenny AC
1500m John Travers Donore Harriers AC
60m Hurdles Gerard O’Donnell Carrick on Shannon
3000m Paul Pollock Annadale Striders
Long Jump Adam McMullen Crusaders AC
Men’s 4x400m Relay Squad
Timmy Crowe Clonliffe Harriers
Mark English UCD AC
Dara Kervick Clonliffe Harriers
Paul Murphy Ferrybank AC
Harry Purcell Trim AC