Deirdre Ryan and Alistair Cragg progress

An excellent morning session for Irish athletes Deirdre Ryan and Alistair Cragg on day 5 of the World Championships in South Korea.

Deirdre Ryan (DSD AC) produced her best ever career performance with a clearance of 1.95m in the women’s high jump qualification round at the World Track and Championships in Daegu, South Korea, to secure an automatic qualification spot into the final. The Dundrum athlete in that one jump also set a New Irish Record improving on the 1.93m that she set in August and she also achieved the A qualification standard for the London Olympic Games.

Ryan had first time clearances at 1.80m, 1.85m and 1.89m. She then cleared 1.92m on her third attempt and then went on to clear 1.95m on her second attempt.

Earlier Alistair Cragg secured an automatic qualification spot into the 5000m final finishing fifth in heat two in 13:39.36. This is Cragg’s first World Championships final, which takes place on Sunday at 11.40am Irish Time. The Clonliffe AC athlete demonstrated a willingness to ensure qualification with some very positive front running. He took out the pace in the opening laps avoiding the scuffles and falls behind him. With 1000m to go there was an injection of pace by the Ugandan athletes but Cragg stayed in contention in the leading pack. At the bell there was a serious burn up and Cragg went with the pace and down the home straight he picked off athletes moving to fifth place.

Next in action for the Irish is Ciaran O’Lionaird (Leevale AC) in the semi-final of the Men’s 1500m at 11.55am (Irish Time).

In other team news the women’s 4×400m team selection for Friday’s heat has been announced and will be (in running order) Marian Heffernan, Joanne Cuddihy, Claire Bergin and Michelle Carey. They will be looking for top 16 placing to achieve the Olympic qualification for London 2012


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