Olympic marathoner Paul Pollock is among those selected in athletics for the Gold Coast Games

A total of 12 athletes have been selected to represent Northern Ireland in athletics at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games in April.

Among those forming part of the overall Northern Ireland squad of 88 athletes across 13 sports will be Olympic marathoners Paul Pollock and Kevin Seaward, plus their fellow Olympian and European 1500m bronze medallist Ciara Mageean.

Joining them in Australia for the Games from April 4-15 will be GB para-athlete Jack Agnew in the T54 1500m, Dempsey McGuigan in the hammer and heptathlete Kate O’Connor, plus Commonwealth Youth Games high jump champion Sommer Lecky, Adam Kirk-Smith in the 3000m steeplechase, sprinter Leon Reid in the 200m, 110m hurdler Ben Reynolds, long jumper Adam McMullen and Emma Mitchell in the 10,000m.

“Athletics Northern Ireland are delighted to have 12 athletes named to represent TeamNI at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast,” said Jackie Newton, director of coaching and athlete development at Athletics NI.

“We have every confidence in the 12 athletes that have been selected and, along with experienced championship performers, we look forward to the Commonwealth Games debut of our teenage performers – Kate, Sommer and Jack.

“We congratulate the personal coaches of the 12 named athletes, and appreciate their dedication and commitment to preparing Northern Ireland athletes to compete against the best Commonwealth nations.”

Athletics Northern Ireland had nominated 15 athletes for the Games, with 3000m steeplechaser Kerry O’Flaherty among those to miss out.

“Athletics NI are extremely disappointed for some of our athletes that achieved the qualifying standard but were not selected,” added Newton.

“We fully believe in the ability of all fifteen athletes we put forward for nomination and the competition for places demonstrates the current strength of athletics in Northern Ireland.

“We understand, however, that the pressure on numbers across the other sports has limited the number of available places.

“The World Indoor Championships taking place in March and this summer’s European Championships in Berlin will offer valuable opportunities for athletes that were not selected on this occasion to perform at their best on the international stage.”