IAAF confirms the 800m runner’s transfer of allegiance

Katie Kirk’s switch in allegiance from Great Britain to Ireland has been confirmed in the latest IAAF newsletter.

News of the Glasgow Commonwealth Games 800m semi-finalist’s intentions to compete for Ireland had already been reported but it was on Tuesday that the sport’s international governing body officially announced the transfer, with the middle-distance runner eligible to represent the nation in competitions from March 26.

Kirk’s 800m personal best of 2:02.63 was set when placing sixth in her semi-final at Glasgow’s Hampden Park at the Commonwealth Games last July. That time placed her 13th in the British rankings for last summer but would have put her at third in the Irish rankings behind Rose-Anne Galligan and Laura Crowe who clocked times of 2:02.07 and 2:02.24 respectively.

The 21-year-old is coached by her father, Mark, who is himself a former international middle-distance runner and competed at two Commonwealth Games as well as two European Indoor Championships. His 1:46.94 for 800m is a former Northern Ireland record, while he also ran 3:59.67 for the mile in the Eighties.

Kirk had been among the young athletes who lit the Olympic cauldron during the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, having been nominated for the honour by Dame Mary Peters.

The latest IAAF transfer of allegiance list can be viewed via the latest newsletter which is available here.