It was a great evening for British athletes at the Morton Games on Saturday in Santry with Kyle Langford and Isabelle Boffey winning the Men’s and Women’s 800m races.
Langford returned to the meet and showed his class to win the Men’s race in 1.46.81. None of the athletes went with pacemaker Jack Manning, with Langford taking the lead with 300m to go. The Briton who heads to the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon next week was challenged all the way by Australian Jye Perrott who finished second. Best of the Irish was Harry Purcell (Trim AC) who finished fifth in 1.48.73, a new Seasons Best.
Bronze medallist at last weekend’s National Championships Mark Milner (UCD AC) finished in sixth running 1.48.98. Irish athletics fans would’ve been thrilled to see the return of Cian McPhilips (Longford AC). McPhilips who won gold at last summer’s European U20 Championships in Tallinn, Estonia finished seventh in 1.50.54. Roland Surlis (Annalee AC) was tenth to cross the line in 1.53.30.
Boffey, meanwhile finished strongly to win the Women’s race ahead of Irish national record holder Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC). Both athletes battled ferociously all the way up the home straight with Boffey just managing to fend off the challenge of Shanahan to win in 2.03.22. Shanahan ran a time of 2.03.57, with Australia’s Ellie Sanford finishing third in 2.04.11.
The athletes had gone through 400m in 60s paced by hurdles specialist Deirdre Murray (Na Fianna AC) and it was American athlete Kendra Chambers who was first to kick for home with 200m to go. Silver medallist at last weekend’s National Championships Jenna Bromell (Emerald AC) finished sixth in 2.04.73, with bronze medallist Claire Mooney (Naas AC) back in ninth in 2.06.59.
“It was a bit messy, and I was disappointed not to win but second in a good race, we’ll move from here,” Shanahan told the Irish Runner after.
“The support up the home straight and even before the start of the race was amazing.”
Shanahan races tomorrow evening at Cork City Sports before flying to the World Championships on Friday, where she will be looking to go a step further than what she achieved at last year’s Olympics.
“I’m in a weird position this year having qualified automatically so if I could dip under two minutes again that would be great, but championship races tend to be tactical so it’s all about getting out of those heats and seeing where we can go from there.”