JOHN FITZSIMONS and Mark English are the latest star names to confirm their participation in the upcoming BAM Ireland Cork City Sports and they will compete in the already highly competitive 800 metres.
The Cork City sports will make its return after a two-year absence due to the Coronavirus pandemic and this will be the 69th edition of the event, taking place on the 5th of July at the MTU stadium in Bishopstown.
The men's 800m will be one of the highlights as it will pit the top two ranked Irish athletes over the two laps - Fitzsimons and English - against three of the top British 800m runners; Ben Pattison, Kyle Langford, and Piers Copeland.
Mark English won the Watford BMC meeting on June 11th beating Kyle Langford in a close finish, with Jye Perrott of Australia in third, who will also feature in the field in Cork.
John Fitzsimons has been having a terrific season so far culminating in an outstanding 1.45.66 in Toulouse to top the Irish rankings for the year so far.
Fitzsimons, with the backing of his coach Joe Ryan, has been improving consistently over the past couple of years.
Piers Copeland has had an unlucky time this year. He raced in the 1500m at the Birmingham Diamond League meeting and was tripped and fell breaking a bone in his arm.
He is back training and racing again after a short recovery period and will be looking to show some form ahead of major championships this summer.
Ben Pattison has been having an extraordinary season running consistently 1.46 and under culminating in a 1.45.16 to win in Sollentuna Sweden on June 12th The race will also feature Rocco Zaman-Browne who has recently declared for Ireland and is a great prospect for the future.
The pacemaker for the race will be Conall Kirk who is a sub 1.50 athlete in his own right so it should prove to be a fast race on the night of July 5th.
The announcement follows confirmation that American hurdler and bobsledder Lolo Jones, who specializes in the 60-meter and 100-meter hurdles - she has won three NCAA titles and earned 11 All-American honors while at Louisiana State University - will also compete.
In other events, Ireland's rising star Sarah Healy will be in competition with two-time Olympic and three-time world champion Caster Semenya, who will be looking to impress ahead of the Commonwealth Games, in the 3,000M event.
Cork's Louise Shanahan recently set a new Irish record in the 800M and she has postponed her trip to the World Championships to compete in front of her home crowd while fellow Leesider Phil Healy will also be attempting to run a double in the women's 100M and 400M.