Cork City Sports will return to live television next month, when the legendary athletics meeting is broadcast live on TG4, to commence a multi-year deal.
For the event’s 66th running, July 18th this year will mark the first time in twelve years that the Cork City Sports will have aired on live television.
It will also be TG4’s first ever live athletics broadcast, having featured highlights of the All-Ireland Schools Track and Field Championships from 2004 to 2010. TG4’s athletics coverage resumed earlier this year with highlights of the AIT Indoor Grand Prix from Athlone.
European Championship bronze-medallist and World Championship qualifier Ciara Mageean will compete in the 800 metres against a strong international field from the United States, Jamaica, Canada, Britain, New Zealand and Trinidad and Tobago.
Also among the confirmed Irish names competing are Cork’s own national champion Phil Healy, whose international debut came in the European indoors in Belgrade last March; John Travers, who finished seventh in the 1500m at the 2015 European Indoors in Prague; European Junior silver medallist Sarah Lavin; plus Irish international athletes Timmy Crowe, long-jumper Adam McMullen and Craig Lynch.
Healy, Lavin, McMullen and Travers are all in the strong Irish squad named for the European Athletics Team Championships in Vaasa, Finland, in the run-up to the Cork City Sports.
Further Irish entrants will be announced closer to the meeting.
Top names competing from abroad are Olympic 400m hurdles bronze-medallist and twice World Championship silver-medallist Javier Culson of Puerto Rico, Pan-Am 100m champion D’Angelo Cherry of the United States, Ghanaian athletes Flings Owusu-Acheampong and Gemma Acheampong – with eight African Championship medals between them – while double Olympic finalist Collis Bermingham accompanies fellow Australian athletes Patrick Tiernan, Jordy Williamsz and reigning 5000m champion Sam McEntee.
Top British sprinter Dina Asher-Smith is also slated to compete.
Among the American entrants are 2015 Cork City Sports mile winner Will Geoghegan and IAAF World Relays champion Kyle Merber.
Germany’s European Championship fourth-placer Katrin Klaas competes in the hammer, with the high jump featuring Jamaican Olympian Jamal Wilson.
Many storied names of Cork athletics will be present on the night including world champions Sonia O’Sullivan, Marcus O’Sullivan and Derval O’Rourke.
Cork City Sports chairman Tony O’Connell said: “This is a big boost for the Cork City Sports in its 66th year. We feel that live television coverage both home and abroad is vital to bring our great meeting to the next level.”
Meet director Joe Hartnett stated: “Going back to the days of Steve Ovett and Yuri Sedykh in the 80s, and Sonia O’Sullivan in the 90s and 00s, the Cork City Sports has always been a highlight of the Cork sporting summer and the Irish athletics summer. Now we hope to find a whole new audience. By becoming higher-profile, we hope to attract many more quality names to Cork City.”
Donal Murnane, Cork City Sports PRO commented: “We are thrilled to be going live on TG4. The channel’s sports coverage is very highly-regarded and we look forward to the Cork City Sports becoming a staple of their live output.”
TG4 head of sport Rónán Ó Coisdealbha said: “TG4 are delighted to commit to this coverage of the Cork City Sports. As a supporter of all sports we believe it is paramount for headline athletics event to be available free-to-air. Athletics has provided some major good news stories for Irish sport down through the years, and in recent years via the medal exploits of Thomas Barr, Ciara Mageean, Mark English, Fionnuala McCormack and Rob Heffernan, and we hope to see more of them in future on TG4.”
TG4’s broadcast will run from 7:20pm to 9pm on Tuesday, July 18th, with commentary from Con Murphy and Dick Hooper, with Mark Rodden reporting.
Coverage will also be available online worldwide via the TG4 Player.