AS THE clock ticks towards the Olympic Games, Mark English will return to the track on Sunday.
English will compete in the Sollentuna Grand Prix in Sweden.
The Finn Valley AC man goes in the 800m at the Sollentunavallen Arena looking to improve on his Olympic qualifying ranking.
English is currently ranked 37th with 48 athletes to go under starter’s orders in Tokyo.
Last weekend, English withdrew from the FBK Games in Hengelo as a precaution after picking up a minor injury that also saw him pull out of the Göteborg Friidrott Grand Prix four days earlier.
Earlier this year, the three-time European medallist lowered his Irish indoor record to 1:46.10 earlier this year and he has an outdoor best of 1:44.84, set in 2013.
In two weeks’ time, English will compete at the National Senior Championships in Santry.
To automatically qualify for the Olympics, English would need to run 1:45.20, but he remains well poised via the rankings with the cut-off point also looming on June 29.
Finn Valley AC race walker Brendan Boyce, whose qualification for the Olympic Games was secured back in 2019, will take part in the Irish Life Health National 20km race walk championships on Saturday at St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam.
The 20k is not the forte of 50k specialist Boyce, who will look for a strong work out ahead of his departure to a pre-Olympic training camp in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Boyce will be up against David Kenny (Farranfore Maine Valley) and Callum Lewis Wilkinson (Togher AC).
The Milford native has a PB of 1:24:31 over 20k, a time he set at Potebrady in 2019 and he enters this weekend on the back of a ninth-place finish at the European Race Walking Cup in May.
In New York this weekend, Mollie Gribbin goes in a long jump competition, after which she will consult with Finn Valley AC chief Pasty McGonagle regarding the worthiness of a trip to Ireland for the National Seniors at the end of the month.
Closer to home, the AAI Games in Santry, which take place on Saturday and Sunday, has attracted a number of Donegal athletes, most prominent among those the Finn Valley pair of Sommer Lecky and James Kelly, Tir Chonaill AC triple jumper Conall Mahon – who has a county record in his sights – as well as Letterkenny AC’s former Commonwealth Games competitor Danny Mooney.
There will also be a number of Donegal competitors at open meets in Antrim and Belfast over the weekend.Tags: