Mark English breaks Irish Men’s 800m Record at AAI Open Games

Updated: February 3, 2014

Mark English (UCD AC) put in a truly quality performance today setting a newIrish Men’s Senior 800m Indoor Record of 1:46.82 at the Woodie’s DIY AAI Open Games in AIT International Arena, Athlone.

The previous record of 1:47.21 which was held by Daniel Caulfield has stood for 13 years. This time was also inside the qualification time of 1:47.00 for the World Indoor Track and Field Championships which takes place in Sopot, Poland in March.


English finished second in the International race to Thijem Kupers of Netherlands in 1:46.78 with Alex Rodriguez of Spain third in 1:48.82. The 20 year old Donegal man who is coached by Teresa McDaid also set a new U23 Irish Indoor record in the process.


Mark added later:


“I had it in the back of my head that I wanted to run the World Indoor standard, I obviously got an Irish Record along with that, so that was a huge bonus to get that too.  I’m coming away from here with a lot of learnings and I’m very happy with that performance.”


English uncharacteristically placed himself at the front of the race from the off: “It was tough – I’m not used to leading out races, it helped to have a pacemaker bringing – David McCarthy knows what he’s doing and brought us through 400 in 51 seconds.  I was hanging on for dear life in the last 200m and thankfully I held on for qualification and the record”


In the Women’s 800m, Anna Rostkowska of Poland won in 2:04.01. Ciara Everard (UCD) who is targeting the World Indoor standard of 2:03 crossed the line in second in 2:04.69 with Ewa Acniak of Poland third in 2:05.68.


Ciara Everard “I was happy enough; with an opener you always feel a little rusty, I hadn’t raced an  800m since last July so it’s always a bit of a shock to the system. Aislinn (Crossey) did a really good job pacing, I just tucked in behind her and then held on; the Polish girl just came up on me at the end.  Hopefully with some more speed work, we can hope for a little bit more over the next few weeks.”


In the 1500m David McCarthy improved on his indoor season opener this week of 3:42.33 at the Indoor Classic in Vienna setting a personal best of 3:39.14. It was also inside the qualification standard of 3:41.00 for the World Indoors. McCarthy plans to compete in the 800m in the Intervarsity’s Championships next weekend followed by the 3000m at the Senior Championships.  The race was won by Jakub Ouolusa of Czech Republic in a new National record of 3:38.79 with John Coughlan third in 3:43.31.


Speaking after the race he said: “It was good. I ran in Vienna on Wednesday night and I ran 3:52 and it felt so tough and rough because the race was so crowded I was being pushed all over the place – all my energy was taking up trying to stay on my feet. The target for today was just to run fast and keep my energy for racing”


In the Men’s International 3000m Spain’s Adel Michaal won in 7:52.29 with Spanish Alberto Sanchez (Sligo AC’s) second in  7:57.63 and  Corrales Victor of Spain third in 8:02.72.  Eoin Everard Kilkenny City Harriers A.C. was fourth in 8:14.45.


In the 3km Walk, Alex Wright (Calry AC) who has recently declared for Ireland was the clear winner from Brendan Boyce (Letterkeny AC) with Luke Hickey (Leevale AC) in third. The trio will next compete in the 5k Walk at the Senior Indoor Track and Field Championships in two weeks’ time.


Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC) ran her fastest  season opener  ever to win the Women’s  A 60m in 7.40 seconds from Phil Healy in 7.43 equalling her PB with Catherine McManus  (Celtic DCH ) third in  7.59.  Foster who is targeting European and Commonwealth qualification this season was pleased with her run “It’s good to get in there and get the win and have my fastest season ever by a significant bit”


Craig Lynch (Shercock AC) was the unexpected winner of the Men’s 60m setting a personal best of 6.88 seconds improving significantly on his previous best of 7.01 set in 2007. Steven Colvert (Crusaders A.C) was second in 6.91 with David Hynes third in 6.92.


McManus went on to set a personal best when winning the Senior Women’s 60m Hurdles in 8.64.  Gerard O’Donnell (Carrick-on-Shannon AC) also set a personal best of over two tenths running 8.23 to take the Men’s 60m Hurdles.


The Men’s 200m the fastest Irish 200m finisher on the day was Zac Irwin in 21.93, with Maximillian Kessler of Germany topping the overall ranking with 21.25. While Kelly Proper (Ferrybank AC) won the women’s 200m in 24.90. Earlier in the day the Waterford woman had won the Long Jump with a solid performance of three jumps over 6m with the best of 6.23m.


In the Men’s International 400m Mark Ujakapor of Spain won in 47.10, from Rory Evans of Great Britain in 47.30 with the Spaniard Samuel Garcia third in   47.81.  Timmy   Crowe   (Dooneen AC) was the best of the Irish in 47.97 just one hundredth off his personal best.


The 400m Sinead Denny (DSD) won the women’s 400m in 54.52 improving on her personal best set earlier in the month of 54.83 and setting a new stadium record.


Elsewhere over the weekend Sarah Lavin won the 60m Hurdles at Loughborough University Games running 8.40 outside of her personal best of 8.33 set last week at the Junior Championships.  While Elizabeth Morland won the London Indoor Games in 8.59 with Molly Scott second in 8367 in the U/17 60 Hurdles.


Liam Markham (Ennis Track) has been in great form so far this season and took another nine seconds off his best time when he finished fourth in the mile at the Indiana Relays clocking 4:02.37.


Twelve months ago Paul Robinson (St. Coca’s AC) ran his best time for 5,000m of 14:02.72 with an eight place finish in Hobart, Australia.  Yesterday he was back racing in Hobart over the same distance and succeeded in lowering his best time to 13:54.34 when finishing fifth in a race won by Ben St. Lawrence in 13:31.56. Mark Hanrahan (Leevale AC) was seventh in the same race in 14:05.82 to knock a second off his best time. Laura Crowe (An Riocht AC) was third in the 1,500m in 4:13.84.

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