AAI Games and Combined Championships Preview

ByEmma Porter |

Several of Ireland’s top athletes will get their indoor seasons underway this weekend as the AAI Games and National Indoor Combined Event Championships take centre stage at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Abbotstown.

A host of Olympians are entered and will be expected to take their place on the track on Saturday for the AAI Games, while national titles will be down for decision on Sunday as the multi-events conclude.


Molly Scott (St. Laurence O’Toole A.C.) returns to action on Irish soil and will be hoping for a speedy performance over 60m. The 2022 national senior champion produced a strong performance during the week in Denmark clocking 7.38 and will be looking to go even faster in the coming weeks.

Katie Bergin (Moyne A.C.) will be one to watch having clocked a personal best last weekend to take the National U23 title in Athlone.

There is significant depth in the Men’s 60m with last weekend’s U20 and U23 champions Sean Aigboboh (Tallaght A.C.) and Nkemjika Onwumereh (Metro St. Brigid’s A.C.) both amongst the entries.

Colin Doyle (Leevale A.C.) holds the fastest time in the field this year with 6.81 from the opening round of the National League three weeks ago.


Doyle is also entered in a stacked Men’s 200m which includes national record holder Mark Smyth (Raheny Shamrock A.C.) who will get his 2024 season underway.

Smyth will face stiff competition in the form of Tokyo Olympian Marcus Lawler (Clonliffe Harriers A.C.) and Robert McDonnell (Galway City Harriers A.C.).

Another Tokyo Olympian Phil Healy (Bandon A.C.) is the lead entrant in the Women’s 200m. Healy will have the aforementioned Katie Bergin who also won the U23 title in the event last weekend to contend with.


Hurdles specialist and two-time Olympian Thomas Barr (Ferrybank A.C.) is sure to be one of the star attractions at NIA on Saturday as he goes in an intriguing Men’s 400m.

The Irish event leader this year David Ryan (Moycarkey Coolcroo A.C.), Callum Baird (Ballymena and Antrim A.C.) and Tokyo Olympian Cillin Greene (Galway City Harriers) will all be looking to lay down a marker for the season ahead.

Two of the stars of the Irish Women’s 4x400m Relay team who made the final at the World Athletics Championships in Budapest last August look set to go head-to-head in the Women’s 400m. Roisin Harrison (Emerald A.C.) and Kelly McGrory (Tír Chonaill A.C.) will be hoping for strong season openers.


Olympian Louise Shanahan (Leevale A.C.) headlines the field in the Women’s 800m. Shanahan will not have it her own way however as Iseult O’Donnell (Raheny Shamrock A.C.) and Claire Mooney (Crusaders A.C.) will look to challenge.

The Men’s 800m looks like it has the potential to be one of the races of the day should all those entered take their place. John Fitzsimons (Kildare A.C.), Cian McPhillips (U.C.D. A.C.), Mark Milner (U.C.D. A.C.) and Cathal Doyle (Clonliffe Harriers A.C.) are amongst the ones to watch while Shane Healy (Metro St. Brigid’s A.C.) will once again hope to lower his M55 World Record and break the two minute barrier.


Amy O’Donoghue (Dundrum South Dublin A.C.) and Ellie Hartnett (U.C.D. A.C.) are set to be amongst those toeing the line in what looks set to be an exciting Women’s 1500m.

Kieran Kelly (Raheny Shamrock A.C.) has the fastest personal best in the Men’s 1500m but young athletes Harry Colbert (Waterford A.C.) and U23 800m national champion Dara Donoghue (Lucan Harriers A.C.) will also be to the fore.


1500m specialist Carla Sweeney (Rathfarnham W.S.A.F A.C.) steps up in distance on Saturday and will be hoping for a good time over the 15 lap event.

Efrem Gidey (Clonliffe Harriers A.C.), Callum Morgan (Candour Track Club) and national youth record holder Cormac Dixon (Tallaght A.C.) are just some of athletes to watch in a stacked Men’s 3000m

3000m Walks

Kate Veale (West Waterford A.C.) will prove extremely difficult to beat in the Women’s 3000m Walk, while Luke Fitzmaurice (North Leitrim A.C.) is expected to lead the charge in the Men’s event.

60m Hurdles

Molly Scott (St. Laurence O’Toole A.C.) is also entered in the Women’s 60m Hurdles and fans will be intrigued to see her make a return over the barriers.

Fellow St. Laurence O’Toole athlete Adam Nolan looked seriously impressive last weekend as he took National U23 gold in the 60m Hurdles and he will hope to go even faster than the 8.09 marker he laid down last weekend.

High Jump

Multiple time national champion David Cussen (Old Abbey A.C.) will certainly be the man to beat in the Men’s High Jump, while 2023 European U20 finalist Ava Rochford (Nenagh Olympic A.C.) is one to watch in the women’s event.

Long Jump

Shane Howard (Bandon A.C.) has already jumped 7.40m this season and will be looking to improve on that in NIA on Saturday, while Lauren Callaghan (Finn Valley A.C.) will have her eyes set on breaking the six metre barrier for the first time this season.

Pole Vault

Abbie O’Neill (City of Lisburn A.C.) is the leading entrant on personal best in the Women’s Pole Vault, while Michael Bowler (Enniscorthy A.C.) looks set to get his season underway in the men’s competition.

Triple Jump

Saragh Buggy (St. Abban’s A.C.) will have her eyes set on notching up another victory in the Women’s Triple Jump on Saturday afternoon. Conall Mahon (Tír Chonaill A.C.) is the lead entrant in the Men’s Triple Jump

Shot Put

18-year-old Liam Shaw (Athenry A.C.) is one to watch in the Men’s Shot Put which gets underway at 11am, while national U23 champion Ciara Sheehy (Emerald A.C.) will be tough to beat if showcasing her form from last weekend in the women’s event.

Weight for Distance

Aoibhin McMahon (Blackrock A.C.) holds entries in both the Shot Put and Weight for Distance while Lusk AC’s Stephen Fee and Colm Ó Donnchadha will battle it out for victory in the men’s competition.

Combined Events

Jack Forde (St. Killian’s A.C.) was impressive in taking the Senior Men’s Heptathlon title just over twelve months ago and will be hoping for similar success this weekend.

Forde faces off against the likes of Rolus Olusa (Clonliffe Harriers A.C.) and Alex Ademola (Leevale A.C.).

The senior, U20 and U18 men will be in action in the 60m, Long Jump, High Jump and Shot Put on Saturday before taking on the 60m Hurdles, Pole Vault and 1000m on Sunday.

Lara O’Byrne (Donore Harriers A.C.) leads the entries for the Senior Women’s Pentathlon. Laura Frawley (Nenagh Olympic A.C.) and Laura Frey (Lagan Valley A.C.) will also have their eyes on podium places.

Live results will be available HERE

2024 Irish Indoor Performance List is HERE

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