Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Flannery Takes the Long Route

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Flannery Takes the Long Route

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bill McGuirk

Despite smashing the championship record in the 400 metres hurdles, Kieran Flannery looks to be switching his attentions to the 800 metres with two major events on the horizon.

Competing in the North Eastern Championships at the weekend, 18-year-old Flannery not only looked impressive when winning the hurdles in a championship best time of 54.04 seconds but followed that up three hours later with another eye-catching performance over two laps to win the under-20 800 metres in a time of 1min 55.76.

And while the Gateshead Harrier and RGS pupil is ranked in the top six in the UK over the hurdles, he feels his best option this time round will be over 800 metres with a double target of the English Schools' Championships and the European Junior Championships in mind.

Last year when the Schools' Championships were held in Gateshead, Flannery lifted the bronze medal in the senior boys hurdles race ( he's run that event for the past three years ( and there is no doubt he could improve on that this time round when the championships are held in Birmingham in July.

However, after early season races over hurdles to improve his speed, he feels the time is right to have a change of direction.

"The qualifying times for both the hurdles and the 800 metres for the European Championships are pretty tough," said Flannery, who has been nominated for the SPAR Sprints Initiative Performance Award which gives him the chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to Florence, Italy to observe Britain's top athletes at the European Cup next month.

"But, at the moment, the 800m qualifying time of 1min 50sec for the Europeans in Lithuania ( his best to date is 1:51.06 ( looks to be the better option while the time of 52.55sec is a pretty tall order.

"I felt I ran well in both races last weekend, especially in the hurdles for I felt strong throughout. …

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