English 17-year-old Phoebe Gill ran an astonishing 800 metres time of one minute 57.86 seconds to clinch victory at the Belfast Irish Milers Meet in Northern Ireland.

The St Albans athlete's time in sweltering conditions at the Mary Peters Track was almost four seconds inside her previous personal best and broke the European Under-18 record of 1:59.65 set by East Germany’s Marion Geissler-Hübner 45 years ago. Gill's time moved her to joint second place in this year's world 800m rankings with only Ethiopia's Tsige Duguma (1:57.73) having run faster in 2024.

"I'm in shock because I was late for the race because I got the timings mixed up," said a stunned Gill, who won the Commonwealth Youth Games 800m title last year.

"Then I got out there a bit faster than the 58 [seconds] I was supposed to run on the first lap. I just kept pushing and in the end I didn't even clock that I'd done it. I thought I was dreaming," added the youngster, who looked set to blow up after reaching the bell in 56 seconds but amazingly held her form over the 200 metres.

Only Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson (1:55.88) has run faster as a British under-20 athlete. Gill's performance was comfortably inside the Olympic qualifying standard of 1:59.30 although the huge strength of British 800m running means the teenager, who has Irish family connections, will face a tough task in securing a place in Paris at the UK trials.

The Hertfordshire athlete, who only turned 17 on 27 April, said bettering two minutes had been "my dream" after setting her previous personal best of 2:01.50 last summer. The teenager's winning time left her 2.47 seconds ahead of Scottish athlete Erin Wallace (2:00.23) with Danish athlete Annemarie Nissen (2:00.26) in third.

Ireland's Tokyo Olympian Louise Shanahan, aiming for a third successive 800m victory at the Belfast meeting, was never in contention as she finished eighth. Enfield & Haringey athlete Callum Dodds continued the British 800m success as he smashed his 800m personal best by nearly a second and a half in taking men's victory in 1:44.79.

Dodds held off fellow Englishman Thomas Randolph, who was only 0.03 seconds outside his personal best in crossing the finishing line in 1:44.91. Raheny's Cillian Kirwan took 1.09 seconds off his previous best as his fifth place in 1:45.75 left him leading Irish finisher.

The big Irish story from the Belfast meeting was Sophie Becker's huge personal best in winning the women's 400m as she showed no ill-effects from helping Ireland clinch women's 4x400m Olympic qualification in the Bahamas last weekend. The 26-year-old Dubliner clocked 51.13 seconds which took 0.70 seconds off her previous best set in 2022.

"I’m in absolute shock," said the Raheny Shamrocks athlete, whose time moved her to fifth on the all-time Irish list for the distance. Becker's time bettered the European Championship standard and was only 0.18 seconds off the Paris Olympic qualifying mark.

Currently only 21 of the 48 Olympic qualifying spots in the women's 400m are occupied by athletes who have achieved the standard and Becker, who was 54th in the rankings going into the Belfast meeting, should now move further into contention for qualification via the rankings route. Nick Griggs' hopes of achieving the European Championship 1500m standard of 3:36.00 were dashed as he could only finish third in a slow and tactical affair won by Corkman Darragh McElhinney in 3:42.48.

Hope of a fast time quickly evaporated as the contenders opted not to follow the pacemaker and as Griggs got boxed midway through the closing lap, his fellow Irishman McElhinney was able to make his decisive break. Griggs did produce a strong closing 80 metres to get closer to the leaders, but it was too late as McElhinney held off Dutchman Job Ijtsma (3:42.69) with the Tyrone man a further 0.05 seconds adrift.

"It was a really messy race but we've no-one to blame but ourselves," said the Tyrone talent. "I'd say there were a few tactical errors, but you live and learn," said the 19-year-old, who will continue to chase the European 1500m standard in the coming weeks.

Becker's 4x400m women's relay team-mate in the Bahamas Phil Healy moved down in distance to win the women's 200m in 23.44 seconds - 0.45 outside her personal best set in 2018. Another of Ireland's World Relays heroes, Galway man Cillin Greene overcame his jet lag to bravely hold off training partner Jack Raftery in the men's 400m in 46.37 seconds.

Glengormley man Callum Morgan, who trains with Griggs and Shanahan in coach Mark Kirk's Belfast-based group, produced a new 3,000m personal best of 7:59.37 as outsprinted British steeplechase champion William Battershill