Star-studded line-up for today’s Cork City Sports

A host of athletic stars from around the world have arrived for the meet being held this evening in CIT.

Star-studded line-up for today’s Cork City Sports

Current 50k walk World Champion Rob Heffernan is leading the local contingent for today’s Cork City Sports.

He is targeting the current World Record in the 3k walking race which he set himself at last year’s meet.

The Corkman is bound to get a rapturous reception in what will be his first race on home soil since his gold medal in the World Championships in Russia last August.

Another Irish athlete who can expect a warm welcome is Paralympic champion Jason Smyth.

The Derryman won two Gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Paralympics in the 100m and 200m in the T13 classification and repeated the achievement in London two years ago.

Smyth made history as the first Paralympic athlete ever to compete in the European Athletic Championships in Barcelona, 2010.

He comes to Cork with the aim of qualifying for this year’s European Athletics Championship taking place in Zurich this August and with a personal best of 10.22 in the 100m will be a serious competitor in the event.

Jason Smyth celebrates his Gold medal after winning the Men's 200m T13 at the Paralympic Games in London 2012

However he faces stiff competition in the event including a sub-ten-second athlete, Kemar Hyman of the Cayman Islands. Hyman is the fastest of the competitors at this distance having ran 9.95 in Madrid in 2012.

Cork City Sports also announced just last week that Olympian Mark Lewis-Francis would be attending.

The Briton, who won Gold in the 4 x 100m relay in London, is also an individual 100m runner. He took silver in that distance in the 2010 European Athletics Championship and has a personal best of 10.04s for the distance.

Another athlete who will get a lot of attention is American athlete Manteo Mitchell who made headlines worldwide when he completed his leg of the 400 x 400m heats in the London Olympics despite breaking his leg halfway round.

His US team went on to win silver in the event.

Mitchell arrived in Cork yesterday for the event but is not impressed with our weather so far.

They are just some of the athletes taking part in this evening’s meet, full details of which can be found here.

The event is also being streamed live here.

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