Churandy Martina The Netherlands, Harry Akines-Aryeety Great Britain and Reuben Arthur Great Britain at the 2016 AIT International Grand Prix.
At the time of going to press the fields are almost full for the fourth annual AIT International Athletics Grand Prix.
One of the highlights of the event will be the men’s 600m race. The 600m event might not be a standard distance at major championships but for an event like the 2017 AIT GP it will be one of the most widely anticipated.
This distance allows top quality 400m and 800m athletes to face off and test their mettle outside of the major championship scene. It generally offers the opportunity of an attempt at the 600m world record.
Potentially every athlete in the field is capable of breaking this world record and that includes our own Irishman Mark English whose PB in the 800m outdoor is 1.44.84 and 1.46.82 indoor. The record currently stands at 1.15.12 and was set way back in 1999 by the German Nico Motchenbon. American Eric Sowinski has a PB of 1.15.06 in this irregular distance and an impressive 1.44.58 in the 800m. The fastest man in the field on historical times is Spaniard Kevin Lopez who has an 800m PB of 1.43.74. 400m specialist Luguelín Santos of the Dominican Republic has a 400m PB of 44.11. Artur Kuciapski of Poland has run 1.44.90 in the 800m while Briton Kyle Langford has a PB of 1.45.78.
While the field is very fast the athletes therein have all shown their ability in championship races. Luguelin Santos DOM is a former Olympic Games Silver medallist from London, World Championship Bronze medallist and a Pan American Games winner. Irishman Mark English holds European Indoor 800m Silver and European Outdoor 800m Bronze for which he came third just behind Artur Kuciapski POL who took the silver medal in that race at Zurich 2014. One of the biggest names in the race is Eric Sowinski USA who currently holds a bronze medal from last year’s World Championships in Portland. The field is currently finalised with two former European Junior champions Kyle Langford GBR and Kevin Lopez ESP who also is a European Indoor Championships Silver medallist.
Mutiz Barshim who was confirmed to attend the International Grand Prix and who delivered a scintillating performance at the event in 2015 when he had three attempts at the World Indoor High Jump Record, unfortunately, has had to pull out from this year's event this week due to injury.
The AIT GP was ranked fourteenth best indoor athletics meet worldwide last year and this year’s event won’t disappoint either. Nine other events are confirmed: Women – Long Jump, 800m, 60m Hurdles, 60m, 1500m while the Men will compete in the Mile, High Jump, 60m, 400m and the aforementioned 600m.
AIT International Grand Prix 2017
Event Date: Wednesday, February 15
Doors Open: 6pm Event Start: 6.30pm
Ticket Prices: Seated €20 - Standing Tickets €10
Tickets Online: www.aitsport.ie
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