Latested news: Brian Gregan is a confirmed starter for next Wednesday’s Loki 400 at Morton Games. The Clonliffe Harrier will run his first race of the season after recovering from a long-term injury. Gregan last competed in the Morton Games in 2017 when he produced one of the races of his career as he beat a world-class field in a new PB of 45.26 and in the process he was responsible for reviving the fabled ‘Santry Roar’!.
Gregan will face another World class field on Wednesday night which includes Canada’s Graeme Thompson who has had a breakthrough season finishing 4th in the Canadian Championships and recording a 45.67 PB. Thompson is coming all the way from Canada with a target of the world qualifying time. Also confirmed is Obi Igbokwe (USA) who has a 44.94 PB and the 45.06 season’s best, the NCAA 400 finalist only in recent weeks competed in the London Diamond league where he placed 4th. 2018 European finalists Samuel Garcia (ESP) , with a 45.00 PB and Ricardo Dos Santos (POR) 45.14 and 2016 European bronze medalist Liemarvin Bonevacia (NED) are also confirmed.
Linden Hall tops 1500 entries
Diamond league regular Linden Hall (AUS) is the leading entry in the Fingal 1500 at next Wednesday’s Morton Games. Hall who has an outstanding PB of 4.00.86 was a semifinalist at the 2016 Olympic Games and was a 4th place finisher at last year’s Commonwealth Games. Also confirmed is Lauren Johnston (USA), PB 4.04.17, a 2015 world championship semifinalist and a finalist at the recent USA Championships. Last year’s runner-up Elinor Purrier (USA) will look to go one better this time out, on the basis of current form, with a 4.02.34 PB set this season this may be her year.
Also confirmed from the US are Cory McGee, another athlete in fine form this season having recorded a PB of 4.05.90, Katrina Coogan, who won last night’s 3000 at Cork City Sports and Elsa Cranny, PB 4.06.03.
The European challenge will be spearheaded by 2016 and 2018 European championship finalist Martha Freitas (POR), who has a PB of 4.03.99, 2017 European U/23 gold medalists Renee Eykens (BEL) who is moving up from 800 where she has a 2.00.00 best and Ireland’s European U/20 silver medal list Sarah Healy.
Stellar field gathers for Albie Thomas 5000
Albie Thomas, the legendary Australian athlete who set two World Records in Santry in 1958, is remembered at Morton Games with the Albie Thomas Memorial 5000. That race brings many athletes to Dublin in search of the World qualifying time for Doha, with several of Europe’s best athletes in the field.
The Eurpoean list is headed by Mike Foppen (NED) who this year set a PB of 13.25.89, also in the race is the 2019 World Universities champion Jonas Raess (SUI), the 2018 German National 5000 and 10,000 champion Sebastian Hendel, the 2017 World Universities 5000 champion Francois Barrer (FRA) who has a PB of 13.27.69, Sweden’s Suldan Hassan, pb 13.31.35 and Britain’s Sam Atkin pb 13.33.70, and a sub 4 minute miler. Also confirmed are Norwegian athletes Per Svela, pb 13.35.09 and Marius Vedvik 13.29.46.
Europe’s best will battle it out against the pre-race favourite Australia’s Pat Tiernan, the 2016 Rio Olympian has the fastest PB in the field of 13.13.44 and his fellow Australian Harry Summers who this year has ran 27.56.98 for 10,000. Also confirmed is Luc Bruchet (CAN) 13.24.18 and 2019 World University’s 10,000 champion Milton Kekana (RSA).
This may well be the deepest field ever assembled for a 5000 in Ireland with some 10 athletes at 13.35 or faster and in all more than 20 are sub 14! Stadium Record Alert : 13.19.98 looks in peril.