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Hamada stars in Games warm-up

MOHAMED Ahmed Hamada of Egypt, an athlete with a 1,500m best of 3.38.16, is the latest addition to the entry for tonight's Morton Mile -- the feature event of the Morton Pre Games.

Athletes from 16 nations are using the event as a final blowout before London 2012.

Hamada, who competes in the 800m at the Olympics, is expected to challenge American athlete David Torrence and Ryan Gregson from Australia for victory.

The Irish entry, led by Olympian Ciaran O Lionard, includes Mark Hanrahan and Eoin Everard, following the withdrawal of John Travers.

Other Irish athletes confirmed included John Coghlan, and Paul Robinson. Stephanie Reilly, who goes in the steeplechase in London, is the only Irish entry in the women's mile.

Leading the men's IMC 800m entry is world 1,500m medalist Matthew Centrowitz of the US in his final race before London.

In the Albie Thomas 3,000m, Zane Robertson of New Zealand lines up against his brother Jake in a large field which includes six US athletes and an Irish field led by cross-country champion Eddie McGinley.

Amy Foster will take on comeback kid Kelly Proper and Catherine McManus in the women's 100m, while Steven Colvert leads the local entry in the men's 100m. Brian Gregan, who narrowly failed to qualify for London 2012, goes in the men's 400m, while Thomas Barr runs the 400m hurdles.

So big was the demand for a quality women's 800m that two top-class races are now scheduled, with the entry led by Canadians Melissa Bishop and Jessica Smith, who have both run under two minutes for the distance.

Also on the programme are men's pole vault and discus and women's long jump, plus Paralympic shot and discus and graded IMC 800m races from 4.30pm. The international programme gets underway at 7.15pm.

Admission €5 or €10 for families. Details www.mortongames.ie