— Melissa Bishop (@BishopMelissa) February 16, 2016
(ATHLONE, IRELAND) – Big things were expected at the showdown in Ireland at the 3rd annual AIT International Grand Prix. With current and former world record holders in attendance, track and field fans were going to get value for their money.
Confirmed to race was former Windsor Lancer star Melissa Bishop, the outdoor 800m silver medalist sporting a personal best of 1:57.52. Bishop was expecting tough competition from European stars such as Anastasiya Tkachuk of Ukraine, as well as Adelle Tracey of Great Britain.
While all the runners completed the race above their PBs, it was still a competitive affair with Bishop finishing first in a time of 2:00.60, a meet record. Almost two seconds behind was Tracey who nosed out Tkachuk by 0.1 seconds at 2:02.34.
Also appearing for Canada was world pole vault champion Shawn Barber, who owns the Canadian indoor record of 6.00m. He set the record only three weeks ago in Reno, NV.
Barber and American Sam Kendricks left the field behind and dueled for supremacy. Great Britain’s Luke Cutts was expected to push Barber, but he bowed out at 5.45m.
Kendricks failed at his first attempt at 5.71m but completed the second try as Barber waited and watched. The Canadian decided to skip 5.71m altogether and cleared his first attempt at 5.77m, putting the pressure back on Kendricks.
On his next vault, Kendricks opted to try the height of 5.83m, but failed. He fared no better on his second or third at that height.
Just for kicks, Barber tried to clear 5.89m and promptly missed on each of three attempts. He settled for setting the meet record at 5.77m.