Athletics Ireland have announced the preliminary team for the forthcoming IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest from March 5-7.

The team is characterised by the full compliment of athletes in each of the 400m events, led by European Indoor bronze medallist Karen Shinkins on the women's team and World Indoor finallist Dave McCarthy on the men's team.

As things currently stand, no decision has been made on sending men's or women's 4x400m relay teams, however this will be finalised before the final closing date of Tuesday, February 24.

Among the athletes in line for selection are national 60m record holder Gary Ryan, national 60m Hurdles record holder Peter Coghlan and Maria McMahon Davenport, who ran 8.58.55 in Boston but has yet to confirm her intention to compete.

World 400m bronze medallist Paul McKee has withdrawn from further indoor competition this season in favour of a longer preparation period for the outdoor season. The newly-crowned Irish 3000m record holder is unavailable due to the NCAA indoor championships taking place on the same weekend.

Preliminary Irish Team for World Indoor Championships: 

200m Ciara Sheehy (DCH) (Automatic selection on winning nationals).
400m Karen Shinkins (DCH) (Selected on current form). Joanne Cuddihy (UCD) (Automatic selection on winning nationals).
3000m Maria McCambridge (DSD) (Automatic selection on winning nationals).

Paul Brizzel (Ballymena & A) (Selected on current form). Paul Hession (Athenry) (Automatic selection on winning nationals).
400m Dave Mc Carthy (Celbridge) (Automatic selection on winning nationals). Rob Daly (DSD) (Selected on current form).
1500m James Nolan (UCD) Selected on 2003 performance and current form.

Team Management
Manager - Michael Quinlan
Team Coach - Paddy Fay
Performance Director - Elaine Fitzgerald 
Team Doctor - Dr Brendan O'Brien
Team Physio - Aifric Morrissey

The Final team will be announced on Wednesday February 25th. The Final decision has not been made about Mens and Womens 4 x 400m relay. Options are being considered in consultation with athletes and coaches, and the decision will be announced on February 25th.

Filed by Mark O'Neill-Cummins