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Belfast Irish Milers Meet: Louise Shanahan ‘at home’ as she bids for three-in-a-row

Having not raced outdoors so far this season in contrast to 2022 and 2023 where she came into the meeting on the back of the varsity track season in the UK, Shanahan says she is going into Saturday’s meeting “completely cold”.

However, there is a method to her approach as she builds toward producing her very best form at what she hopes will be second Olympic Games, rather than peaking right at the start of the summer campaign.

“It’s going to a busy year with hopefully the Europeans in Rome in June and the Olympics in Paris in August,” Shanahan told BBC Sport Northern Ireland.

“For me, it’s important that (a), I get to those championships, and (b) that I can also perform when I get there. And running your fastest time in May is not the strategy to doing that.”

But the gutsy competitor in her means she will still be determined to secure a three-in-a-row against a field which includes another British sub two-minute runner in Ellie Baker.

The race will be paced over the opening 400m to open the door to another potential sub two-minute winner, with the likes of Baker and Ives looking to lay down early-season markers in the fierce British battle to secure 800m Paris spots.

The Olympic standard is 1:59.30 – 0.22 seconds faster than Shanahan’s personal best set in Belfast two years ago.

The Cork athlete is also currently high enough in the world rankings to earn selection – which was her qualification avenue for Tokyo – although there is a long road remaining in that process.

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