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Sommer closes in on ‘Oz’ selection

Castlederg lass Sommer Lecky has been nominated for a place at the Commonwealth Games

CASTLEDERG high jump sensation Sommer Lecky looks well placed to be selected to compete in next year’s Commonwealth Games.

The Strabane Academy pupil is one of 15 athletes nominated for the trip to Australia’s Gold Coast by Athletics NI.

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The gifted teenager, who sensationally struck gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Bahamas back in July, is ranked fourth on the list of nominees.

With at least 10 athletes likely to gain selection, the Derg’s golden girl would appear to be well placed to book her place on the plane.

Her nomination will come as no great surprise given she enjoyed another hugely successful season in 2017 which culminated in that gold medal in the Bahamas.

The Derg girl stood proudly on top of the podium in the Thomas A Robinson Stadium in Nassau after leaping to an impressive 1.83m – a new championship record – in capturing the coveted Commonwealth gold.

In securing first place the Finn Valley AC athlete pushed Australian Emily Rose Whelan (1.79m) and Imogen Olivia Skelton (1.76m), New Zealand into second and third places respectively.

That magnificent triumph was the latest in a string of outstanding achievements to suggest that there is so much more to come from the Ulster and Irish Schools’ champion.

The young Derg woman had made her presence felt in the senior ranks last season and in winning gold at the Youth Games she again hit the qualifying target of 1.82m for the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

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Prior to that the Ulster Herald’s 2014 Sports Personality of the Year winner recorded a number of personal bests and in May broke the Irish Youth, Junior, Schools and Finn Valley records with a jump of 1.85m in the Ulster Schools at the Antrim Forum.

A fortnight later at the Irish Schools Championships in Tullamore the North Tyrone teenager jumped 1.81m to set a new meet record which had stood for all of 32 years. It belonged to Ursula Fay, St Dominic’s College, Belfast.

The nominees selected need to be ratified by the Commonwealth Games body in January.

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