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Top Irish stars and several world class athletes on show at Cork City Sport International meet tonight

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Several stars of Irish athletics will be out in force for the 70th edition of the Cork City Sports in Bishopstown this evening, with multiple Paris-bound athletes going up against international fields of considerable quality.

Chief among them is Phil Healy, who’s set to race the 100m and 200m – the Bandon AC athlete taking on a strong international field that includes USA’s Anavia Battle, a finalist at the recent US Olympic Trials, and Tristan Evelyn of Barbados, who clocked a wind-assisted 11.03 this year, along with Kennedy Blackmon, who has a PB of 11.02.

The River Lee Hotel announce sponsorship for the World Athletics 70th Cork City Sports at the MTU Athletic Stadium Bishopstown on Tuesday evening the 9th July beginning at 5.pm.L to R., Frank Walley President CCS, Ruairi O’Connor GM The River Lee Hotel, Tony O’Connell Chairman CCS and Terry O’Rourke Secretary CCS.

Healy’s 100m best is the former Irish record of 11.28 she ran in 2018 and after a rough couple of years while dealing with an auto-immune condition, she has looked back to her best this year, helping the Irish women’s 4x400m team to silver medals at the Europeans in Rome and winning the national 200m title recently in 23.42.

“Cork is always special for me,” she says. 

“No matter what shape I’m in, I always turn up for Cork to go back to a home crowd. 

“I haven’t run a 100m there in a while, but the fields are stacked.” 

The women’s 200m is loaded with quality, featuring Australian teenager Torrie Lewis, who defeated US superstar Sha’Carri Richardson to win the Xiamen Diamond League in April. 

Also in the field is former world U20 champion Candace Hill and her fellow American Talitha Diggs, the 2022 US and NCAA 400m champion.

Many will be watching the clock to gauge the speed of the new track at Munster Technological University (MTU). 

The men’s 100m will feature a cluster of men who could threaten the 10-second barrier, which has never been broken in Ireland. 

Retshidisitswe Mlenga of South Africa clocked a wind-assisted 9.93 in recent weeks and he will go up against Cejhae Greene from Antigua and Barbuda, who clocked 10.00 in May. Also in the field is JT Smith, a finalist at the recent US Olympic Trials.

The home charge is led by Irish record holder Israel Olatunde, who ran a season’s best of 10.27 to win the national title recently. 

“I’m very excited to be back in front of Irish crowds and I hope I can put on a show,” he said. 

 Musgraves SuperValu Centra Announce sponsorship for the World Athletics 70th Cork City Sports L to R., Frank Walley President CCS, Cormack Dawson, director of Centra, Dan Curtin, Director of Super Valu, Tony O'Connell Chairman CCS and Terry O'Rourke, Secretary CCS.
Musgraves SuperValu Centra Announce sponsorship for the World Athletics 70th Cork City Sports L to R., Frank Walley President CCS, Cormack Dawson, director of Centra, Dan Curtin, Director of Super Valu, Tony O’Connell Chairman CCS and Terry O’Rourke, Secretary CCS.

“The standard is really high, I was (in Cork) two years ago, I picked up the win in a stacked field so I’ll go out and see if I can defend my titIe.” Sarah Lavin will have huge support in the 100m hurdles, where the Limerick star will face a field that has a slew of women who have run well below 13 seconds, including Mette Graversgaard, Ebony Morrison and Talie Bonds. 

However, given the form Lavin is in, having blasted to victory at the nationals recently in terrible weather in 12.79, she will be fancied to come home in front.

Leevale’s Louise Shanahan will hope to score a home win in the women’s 800m, though she’ll be up against it with a field that includes Britain’s Alexandra Bell and USA’s Samantha Watson.

The women’s hammer will see Bandon’s Nicola Tuthill face a loaded international field that includes a slew of women who have thrown beyond 70 metres. 

The 20-year-old recently secured her spot at the Paris Olympics and will be hoping to threaten her PB of 70.32m. 

She will test herself against two of the world’s best in Cork: 2022 world champion Brooke Andersen and her fellow American thrower and last year’s world silver medallist, Janee Kassanavoid.

Leevale’s Reece Ademola will hope to get close to the illustrious eight-metre barrier in the men’s long jump, the barometer of world-class jumping, and several other men in the field have surpassed that mark, led including USA’s Jason Smith and Britain’s Alex Farquharson.

Sophie O’Sullivan, the daughter of Sonia, will race the 3000m in Cork as she prepares for her Olympic debut in Paris over 1500m where she faces a deep international field. 

The night will close with the men’s mile and the four-minute barrier should be smashed, given the calibre of entrants which include US duo Sam Prakel and Craig Engels, along with Britain’s Piers Copeland. 

Sophie O'Sullivan of Ballymore Cobh AC, Cork, celebrates winning the women's 1500m
Sophie O’Sullivan of Ballymore Cobh AC, Cork, celebrates winning the women’s 1500m

The Irish challenge will be led by Charlie O’Donovan and Cathal Doyle, with Doyle in especially good form, having recently won his third national 1500m title.

Entrance for adults is €15 to the stand or €10 for ground admission, with students and OAP’s admitted to the grounds for just €5. Under-12s accompanied by an adult can enter free of charge.

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