The BAM Cork City Sports International Meet resumes on Tuesday July 5 after a three-year absence

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AFTER an absence of nearly three years, there is welcome anticipation in the air as international athletics returns to Leeside on Tuesday July 5 with the 69th running of Cork City Sports, again sponsored by BAM Ireland.

When the company’s continued support was recently announced at BAM’s Little Island offices, the town’s sports committee was delighted to welcome Olympic silver medalist Sonia O’Sullivan, as explained President Tony O’Connell: “It was great to see an athlete like Sonia who is so supportive of the event, she said she would show up and she keeps in touch with us all the time.

This year, the meeting earned a prestigious Bronze license from the World Athletics Continental Tour, which should give the event high status, according to meet manager Joe Hartnett.

“The Continental Tour is the brainchild of Galway man Pierce O Callaghan, head of competition management for World Athletics.

“It sets up a structure on one-day athletics meetings around the world including Gold, Silver and Bronze level meetings, on each continent.

“We are delighted that BAM Cork City Sports will be the only bronze permit meeting in Ireland and that is great news as it will bring world-class athletics back to the country for the first time since 2019.

“It also provides the opportunity for a new era of established and promising athletes from Ireland to compete against the very best and hopefully qualify for major championships.”

At the Lord Mayors Chambers at City Hall, Cork City Sports Committee thanks Lord Mayor Cllr Colm Kelleher for the City Council’s financial support of the Bam Cork City Sports International Athletics Meet World Continental Tour taking place at MTU Athletic Stadium on Tuesday evening July 5th. Left to right, Tony O’Connell, CCS Chairman, Dympna Murphy, Senior Executive, Sports and Sustainability, Terry O’Rourke, CCS Secretary, Lord Mayor, Mark Walk, CCS Chief Financial Officer and Frank Walley, Chairman of the CCS. Photo, Martin Collins.

Of course, a lot has happened in the world of athletics since 2019, especially here at home with the arrival on the scene of such exciting talents as Bantry’s Darragh McElhinney and Tyrone’s Nick Griggs.

The latter was unknown just 12 months ago, but since then he has won the European U20 3000m title and set a European U20 indoor mile record of 3:56.40.

With McElhinney also smashing four minutes last season, the ever-popular mile event once again promises to be one of the highlights of the MTU track where, in 2019, the top four athletes achieved the iconic timekeeping of the “sub-four”.

There is an abundance of Irish talent in athletics at the moment, especially in sprints.

Three years ago Phil Healy returned from injury and had to settle for two fourth places, but of course since then the Bandon star has moved on to another level.

With Rhasidat Adekele, who recently set a new Irish 200m record, Sarah Lavin and Molly Scott, expect some exciting sprint action on what will hopefully be a hot July evening.

“These are all systems working at this point,” says Tony O’Connell.

At Cork Airport Announcement of sponsorship of the Continental Tour BAM Cork City Sports International Athletics Meet at MTU on Tuesday 5th July.  Left to right Mark Walk, CCS Chief Financial Officer, Barry Holland, Cork Airport Communications Director, Tony O'Connell, CCS Chairman, Niall McCarthy, MD Cork Airport.  Cork Airport Communications Specialist Kathleen Walshe and CCS Secretary Terry O'Rourke.
At Cork Airport Announcement of sponsorship of the Continental Tour BAM Cork City Sports International Athletics Meet at MTU on Tuesday 5th July. Left to right Mark Walk, CCS Chief Financial Officer, Barry Holland, Cork Airport Communications Director, Tony O’Connell, CCS Chairman, Niall McCarthy, MD Cork Airport. Cork Airport Communications Specialist Kathleen Walshe and CCS Secretary Terry O’Rourke.

“We are delighted to be able to organize the meeting again after two years of postponement, there is a lot of effort put in by the volunteer committee and we are all looking forward to putting on a good show again.”

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