Antrim Forum to host pre-Olympics athletics meeting

Athletes based in Antrim ahead of the Olympics will compete in a pre-Games meeting in the town on 18 July.

The Brian Downing Memorial International at the Antrim Forum will feature athletes from Qatar, Egypt, Kuwait and Sudan.

Local athletes will also be in action against top performers including Abubake Kaki and Ayanleh Sulieman, both middle distance medal hopes in London.

Sudanese runner Kaki won 800m silver at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu.

"It is a pleasure to launch an event which will see world-class athletes come to the north of Ireland and test their skills against local talent," said Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín.

"While some of the competitors will be focused on the Olympic Games, this event will also inspire many homegrown athletes striving for their own success.

"I'm sure the sense of excitement among participants is echoed by fans of all ages who are looking forward to seeing the top-class performances in Antrim.

"I hope this competition will bring out the best in everyone who takes part, and be a positive step towards their athletic goals whether it is a personal best or an Olympic medal."