TG4 is to broadcast the sixth AIT International Grand Prix Athletics meet from Athlone on Wednesday evening.
Organisers have put together as impressive a libe up of talent as we will see in Ireland this year with World Indoor silver medallist Su Bingtian taking part alongside Ireland’s own European Medallist Thomas Barr and in form Ciara Mageean as well as Olympic champion pole-vaulter Thiago Braz and former European Champion and current World Indoor medallist Marcin Lewandowski.
Dubbed ‘Asia’s fastest man’, Bingtian is the first Asian-born sprinter to break the sub-10-seconds barrier in the 100 meters. The 29-year-old, set to compete in the men’s 60 meters, will be looking to impress ahead of his bid for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Thomas Barr will return to defend his 400-meter title against British talent Jacob Paul and Luke Lennon-Ford, the Netherlands’ Tony van Diepen and Portuguese sprinter Ricardo Dos Santos.
The Irish Olympian, who set a new national record of 47.97 in Rio in 2016, will be the crowd favourite to win the race.
Ciara Mageean, who narrowly missed out on a bronze medal in the European Championships in Berlin, will take on Olympian Genevieve LaCaze, Romania’s Claudia Bobocea, Irish European U18 Double Gold Medallist Sarah Healy and others in the women’s 1500 meter race that promises to be another major highlight.
Rising talent Healy stormed the European Athletics U18 Championships 3000m in 2018 and previously smashed Ciara Mageean’s Irish senior girls 1500m record with a time of 4:18.32 at the All-Ireland schools track and field championships.
Another big name in Irish athletics, Phil Healy will be seeking to hit the qualifying standards for the European Indoor Championships in the women’s 400 meters. The 24-year-old Cork athlete, who came to prominence in 2016 after a video of her comeback in the Irish University Championship went viral, will compete against 2017 USA Indoor Championship bronze medallist Kendra Chambers and British World Championship competitor Meghan Beesley.
There has also been a strong buy-in from sponsors with Ericsson, Alkermes, TG4, Roscommon and Westmeath County Councils, Athlone Intitute of Technology, Athletics Ireland, Midlands Print and the Hodson Bay Group all sponsoring events on the night.
One of the biggest event in Ireland’s athletics calendar, the AIT International Grand Prix is a premier athletics spectacular which Sport for Business will be attending again, and for which tickets are on sale now, right here. It will be a night well worth the trip.