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UK Athletics

Roman Sebrle To Compete In Belfast

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The world’s top decathlete ROMAN SEBRLE will be competing at the Odyssey Arena Belfast next weekend as part of the Woodie’s DIY Irish Indoor Championships- an event made possible by the generous assistance of the Sports Council NI and Belfast City Council.

The 32-year old star from the Czech Republic is the current World Record Holder over the 10 track and field events (9,026 points). He is also the current Olympic Champion (Athens 2004) and European Champion (Gothenburg last August). SEBRLE intends to give athletics enthusiasts at the Odyssey full value by competing in the 60 metres hurdles (PB- 7.84secs), 200m (PB- 21.74secs) and the High Jump (PB- 2.15 metres). Local high jumpers JASON HARVEY and CAOLAN FLANNAGAN who cleared 2.07 metres when winning in Wales last weekend will find this level of competition an experience to savour.

SEBRLE’S most memorable win is probably his 11th hour victory in the Athens Olympics when he finally overcame a reputation for always being the bridesmaid at major championships. At 29 years of age the Czech realised this was his last opportunity for Olympic glory. He did not disappoint when he finally snatched the lead in the javelin, the second last event, with a mighty throw of 70 metres. His winning total of 8,893 points was the second best of his career thus proving his aptitude to peak when it mattered most.

E has been the world’s best all round athlete for several years as shown by his 18 podium places in European, World and Olympic competition. He continues to dominate the event as shown by his huge 170 points victory in the European Championships last August.

The confirmation that SEBRLE will be competing in Belfast offsets the withdrawal last night of world indoor hurdles champion DERVAL O’ROURKE who is travelling to Germany to receive specialist physio treatment.

Interest in next weekends Odyssey programme continues to mount with confirmation that local world championship 400 metres bronze medallist PAUL MCKEE will be taking the start line in his primary event. He will be undeterred by having just lost his Irish 400m record to Ireland’s DAVID GILLICK who shaved 0.8 seconds off MCKEE’S time in Düsseldorf on Tuesday to set new figures of 45.91 seconds.

GILLICK is of course the reigning European Indoors 400 metres champion from Madrid 2 years ago. At present he intends to race over 60 metres at the Odyssey- he took the 200 metres title at this venue a year ago. 

Please visit the Official Indoors Website for all the athlete profiles, timetables, spectator information and tickets etc: