The recent AIT International Grand Prix athletics meeting in Athlone will air on TG4 this coming Friday night, March 24th, at 7:30pm, while the FAI Junior Cup quarter-finals will go out on the same channel the following Sunday at 1:30pm.
Another full-house packed into the impressive indoor arena at Athlone Institute of Technology to witness the fourth running of Ireland’s premier indoor athletics event, featuring former world and Olympic sprint hurdles champion Sally Pearson, 800m World Championship silver-medallist Melissa Bishop, Morton Games winner and Olympic finalist Ryan Gregson, and one of the fastest women in the world this year over 60 metres, Christina Manning.
European Championship bronze-medallist from last summer, Ciara Mageean, ace sprinter Phil Healy, European Championship 4th-placer Paul Robinson and Euro Indoors veteran John Travers were the biggest Irish names competing.
Despite there being no live coverage on Irish television this year – it aired live in previous years on the now defunct IrishTV – the AIT Grand Prix still went out live in five European countries on Fox Sports TV, alongside a live stream, plus highlights in Ireland on eirSport, in the UK on Premier Sports, in the Netherlands and Italy on their respective Fox Sports channels, and in 25 countries across Africa on Fox Sports Africa.
Next Friday night’s broadcast marks a return to athletics coverage for TG4 after last airing the Irish Schools Track and Field in 2010, and is the first Irish Grand Prix meeting in twelve years to be broadcast on one of the “big four” terrestrial channels, after the 2005 Cork City Sports.
Commentary will come from the usual independent television athletics team of Will Downing, Jessie Barr and Dick Hooper, with reporting from Mark Rodden of Eurosport, who will also be fronting the FAI Junior Cup highlights programme on TG4 on Sunday March 26 at 1:30pm.
Coverage will consist of all four quarter-finals – Killarney Celtic v Janesboro, Peake Villa v Sheriff YC, Carrick United v Boyle Celtic and Evergreen v Kilmallock United.
It was Killarney’s first quarter-final in 25 years, in a competition where no Kerry team has ever reached the semis.
Likewise, Evergreen had not played in a quarter-final since 1999, and it was Boyle Celtic’s first time reaching the final eight of Europe’s largest knockout soccer competition.
TV Times –
AIT Grand Prix athletics – Friday 24 March, 7:30pm (TG4)
FAI Junior Cup quarter-finals – Sunday 26 March, 1:30pm (TG4)