O'Keefe to miss Memorial meet

A knee injury has robbed Irish hammer champion Eileen O'Keeffe of the chance to compete in the strongest ever throwing event held in Ireland.

A knee injury has robbed Irish hammer champion Eileen O'Keeffe of the chance to compete in the strongest ever throwing event held in Ireland.

Tomorrow evening's Morton Memorial has attracted some of the world's leading female hammer throwers.

The entrants include current world champion Betty Heidler from Germany, Polish Olympic champion Kamila Skolimowska, Croatia's Ivana Brkljacic, the current world number 2, and reigning European Junior champion Kathrina Safrankova from the Czech Republic.

O'Keeffe, a first-time Olympian, will be a notable absentee at Santry's Morton Stadium, where she won an eighth hammer title at the Woodie's DIY National Track & Field Championships last weekend.

The Kilkenny woman cited a knee injury when informing Morton Memorial meeting director Garrett Coughlan of her withdrawal.

With the start of the Beijing Games just two weeks away, O'Keeffe's decision to rest her knee could be a wise one.

There will still be plenty of top class athletics to enjoy at tomorrow's Morton event, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the summer of world records on the old cinder track in Santry.

During a magical four-week period in 1958 - from July 9 to August 7 - three world records were set at the Morton Stadium over one, two and three miles.

The Morton Mile will be the major track event of the evening and will feature 12 men from six countries who have already broken the four-minute barrier for the distance, including David Campbell, Ireland's fastest miler of 2008, and Mark Christie.

Among the VIP guests at the event will be former Olympians Eamonn Coghlan and Ronnie Delany, who finished third in the famous world record mile race at the stadium in 1958.

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