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Scotland at full strength in defence of Bank of Scotland Celtic Cup

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Scotland at full strength in defence of Bank of Scotland Celtic Cup and National high jump record holder Deirdre Ryan will lead the Irish raid on the Bank of Scotland Celtic Cup on Tuesday July 31st.


Ryan, who has a 1.92m best, heads the Irish 2007 rankings after a 1.87m effort in Budapest earlier this month.


Lee McConnell - a former high jumper - will captain Scotland in defence of the inaugural title won in 2006.


McConnell won Commonwealth Games silver in Manchester (2002) over the flat 400m, and later that year won bronze in the same event at the European Championships.


More recently, the Loughborough University graduate won bronze in the 400m hurdles in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.

"We had a strong team last year and managed to hold off Wales and Ireland for the inaugural title." she said. "I'm sure all the Scottish team athletes will agree that we want to retain the Bank of Scotland Celtic Cup this year - and in the future. It's never been outside Scotland yet. Let's keep it that way."


The Bank of Scotland Development Team will be captained by former athlete David Martin (Victoria Park City of Glasgow), who will contest the 400m hurdles.


Martin, a former AAA's under-17 400m hurdles champion, was a member of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland squad at the recent European Junior Championships, where he won 4 x 400m relay gold.


He's currently 4th in the men's under-20 UK Power of 10 rankings with a personal best time of 52.01s, two seconds faster than the UK performance target.


Welsh middle distance star Jamie Thie makes up the Celtic ones to watch.


The former Cardiff University student - where he graduated with a first class honours - will contend the Bank of Scotland Dream Mile.


His personal best stands at 3:57.86, making him a genuine challenger for the title against top quality opposition including Australia's World Championships Bronze medallist Craig Mottram, Mitch Kealey (Australia), recent winner of the Morton Mile in Dublin, and Andrew Lemoncello (Scotland).


* Additional Bank of Scotland Celtic Cup details can be found on www.scottishathletics.org.uk