MARK English will skip Saturday’s Irish Milers meet in Belfast in favour of a midweek race in Sweden.
Although the meeting in Belfast was today granted a European permit, affording Olympic hopefuls vital ranking points, English had decided to side-step the event.
The uncertainty over the issue regarding the European permit saw English pursue other avenues with the matter only resolved today, some 48 hours prior to the event..
The Finn Valley AC 800m ace will now compete twice next week.
First, English will competed at the Göteborg Friidrott Grand Prix on Wednesday evening.
On Sunday-week, English goes in the FBK Games in Hengelo.
To automatically qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo, English would need to run 1:45.20. As things stand, English is ranked 33rd in the men’s 800m – with 48 to qualify for the Olympics.
The three-time European medalist 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.
Following what were described as ‘administrative concerns’, the permit for the weekend’s meet at the Mary Peters Track was revoked last week.
A statement issued today said: “Athletics Ireland and Athletics Northern Ireland have worked together behind the scenes to jointly support our athletes to facilitate the issue of a European Athletics Permit with Category D ranking points for the Belfast Irish Milers meeting at the Mary Peters Track this Saturday 29th May.
“Our commitment to the athletes in both the North and South of Ireland, their health, safety and status has always been the central theme throughout the management of this matter, and we are grateful for the support of UK Athletics in working collaboratively with us in ensuring that this meet could proceed with a European Athletics Area Permit.
“We wish the athletes and officials a safe, enjoyable meet this weekend and look forward to some excellent performances.”
Meanwhile, Dempsey McGuigan of Finn Valley AC finished second in the men’s hammer throw at the Manchester Invitational this evening.
McGuigan reached a best of 66.79 – coming in the fifth round – in the event won by Scotland’s Chris Bennett, who reached out to 71.71m.
It was a below-par outing for McGuigan following a 70.30m throw last weekend in Loughborough; an attempt that saw him reach the Commonwealth Games standard.Tags: