Leitrim duo may miss Nationals

Leitrim Olympic walkers Laura Reynolds and Colin Griffin are likely to miss next weekend’s Woodies DIY Athletics Ireland Senior Championships as they continue their preparations for the London Games.

Leitrim Olympic walkers Laura Reynolds and Colin Griffin are likely to miss next weekend’s Woodies DIY Athletics Ireland Senior Championships as they continue their preparations for the London Games.

The championships in Santry next weekend provides the final opportunity for Irish athletes to achieve the Olympic “A” Standard and the right to compete in London four weeks from now.

It does not affect our two Leitrim qualifiers Colin Griffin and Laura Reynolds who have already achieved the standard.

Both Colin and Laura have usually brought home medals from the walks in the National Senior Championships but it is likely that neither will compete next weekend as they are preparing abroad for the Olympics and undergoing a heavy schedule of training.

The short track walks of 10,000m for men and 5000m for women would not be greatly relevant to the tough Olympic road walks of 50K and 20K which both will face in a few weeks time.

At the moment there are 18 individual athletics qualifiers who will be in action from Saturday August 4th onwards. It is almost certain that these will be joined at the weekend a womens’ 4 x400m relay team. Relay positions are not decided on a time qualification basis but the top 16 countries in the world based on a combination of their teams’ two best times are invited for each of the four relays.

The Irish quartet currently stand 12th and are likely to maintain that position up to the cut off date of next Tuesday.

There will be some issues to be settled at the weekend’s Championships. Both mens’ and womens’ 400m races will be highly significant. In the mens’ race Brian Gregan and David Gillick who are close to but have not achieved the standard will be taking this last chance.

In the womens‘ race the selection of the four to run in London and the two substitutes will likely be based on the result of the race. Also of major interest will be the mens’ 200jm where Paul Hession who has the standard and Steven Colvert who is fairly close to it could produce a qualifying time.

On Sunday evening the AAI selectors will finalise the team membership other than the marathon runners and 50K walkers. These will be nominated for ratification to the Olympic Council of Ireland who are responsible for entering Ireland’s team.