Irish records broken in Belfast

Ballymena woman Anna Boyle and Cork's Derval O'Rourke set new Irish senior records at the 2006 Irish Indoor Athletics Championships in Belfast this evening.

In the 60 metres final at the Odyssey Arena, Boyle (aged 22) cut 0.05 seconds off Leevale sprinter Ailis McSweeney's previous mark (7.37 seconds).

She finished first in 7.32 seconds, just ahead of Amandine Aliou (7.34) and Kilkenny's Emily Maher (7.36).

The 24-year-old O'Rourke, fresh from beating British record holder Sarah Claxton into second at last weekend's British AAA Indoor Championships, continued her superb form by clocking 7.90 seconds for first in the 60 metres hurdles.

O'Rourke claimed the scalp of World Outdoor Silver medalist Delloreen Ennis-London - beating the Jamaican by 0.16 seconds. The UCD student has now taken a full 0.12 seconds off her national record of 2005, set at the European Championships in Madrid last March.

Boyle will be representing Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne next month.

Alleyne Francique of Grenada came home first in the men's 400 metres, winning in 46.19 seconds with David McCarthy from the Le Cheile club taking the Irish title in second (47.43).

St Malachy's athlete Joe McAllister took gold in the 3000 metres with a run of 8 minutes, 16.96 seconds. Lisburn's Lynsey Monteith won the women's 800m in 2:12.70, while North Down's Eva Massey won the shot putt with a throw of 15.54 metres.

100m and 200m Outdoor record holder Paul Brizzel (Ballymena & Antrim) won the men's 60m title, but he was pipped for first by Leon Baptiste despite finishing in the same time (6.83) as the Londoner.

Derryman Jason Smyth, who is partially-sighted, was fourth in the 60m sprint, showing good form ahead of next month's World Indoor Paralympics.

Meath man Ciaran McDonagh, who is looking to extend his Irish record of 8m by 10cm to qualify for the upcoming World Championships, won the long jump with 7.93m.

The 17-year-old Kelly Proper from Waterford finished second in the women's equivalent behind Slovakian Jana Veldakova (6.44), proper landing a jump of 6.19m to extend her Irish record by nine centimetres.

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