The Final day of competition proved to be a very fruitful for Irish athletes with Darragh Mc Elhinney and Sarah Healy adding to our medal tally at this European Junior Championships.
Mc Elhinney battled hard to take Bronze in the 5000m. The Bantry lad is only the third Irish athlete ever to take a medal at 5000m in the European Juniors with Mark Carroll the last to do so 27 years ago. Mc Elhinney had led with 800, but had to settle for third holding off Hungary’s Palkovits in the final 30m. Spain’s Las Heras took the title with Aslanhan of Turkey taking the Silver.
Just over an hour later Sarah Healy put in a great performance in the Women’s 1500 to take Silver behind 2018 World Junior Bronze Medallist Dani Sclabas of Switzerland. Our Women’s 4 x 400m Relay team of Simone Lalor, Miriam Daly and the Ulster duo of Davica Patterson and Rachel Mc Cann also put in a magnificent performance to finish 5th just 0.3 off Bronze but got some reward as they set a new Irish Junior record in the process. The Men’s 4 x 400m brought the Championships to a close where the Irish quartet set a seasons best in finishing seventh.
And so we move on in this month of Championships, and this week the focus changes to the European Youth Olympics in the Azerbaijan capital of Baku.
This event is a multi sport event for athletes Under 18. This morning seen the first session of athletics take place and the Irish have competed very well with Ciara Sheehy of Emerald AC in Limerick setting a pb of 16m to rank fifth of the throwers for this evenings Shot Putt Final. In the Boys and Girls 100m Israel Olatunde of Dundalgien AC qualified as a fastest non automatic qualifier for his final while Rhasidat Adeleke of Tallaght won her heat has to re-run it due to a late recall gun this re run will take place later today. In the Girls 800m Mayo athlete Aimee Hyde cruised through to the 800 final when finishing 2nd in her heat.
From a local perspective the big news over the weekend was the 2nd place finish of St Louis Monaghan and Glaslough Harriers athlete Ava Ross in the Schools International in Swansea on Saturday. Representing Ireland Ava put in a superb performance in the 3k Walk to take the Silver medal. Last week she also got the news that she had been selected as part of the Irish team for the Nations Cup in Santry on Saturday August 3rd.
Our Women’s and Men’s team travelled to Tullamore on Saturday last to compete in the Irish Life Health National League Final. The Ladies contested the Premier League Final while the Men are in action in the Division One Final, despite both teams been depleted by injury they both gave a good account of themselves, with the highlights the victories for Amy Hamill and Denise Toner in the 800 & 1500m respectively. The respective winners were Premier Division Men – Clonliffe Harriers, Premier Women – Dundrum South Dublin, Division One Men – Wexford County and Division One Women – Waterford County.
In the AAI B Juvenile Championships in Tullamore on Sunday athletes from the region were amongst the medals. Ciara Rodgers of Annalee took Gold in the Girls U14 Shot Putt with a best of 9.05m, there was also Gold for her club mate Ruby Gilmartin as she won the 600m in the Under 13 age group, Shercock’s Andrew Ormiston with his best jump in round 3 of the Boys U14 Long Jump seen him take Gold.
Edel Murphy also of Shercock took Silver in the Girls U14 800m, as did her fellow club mate Mark Cassidy in the same event in the Boys U15 age group, Deirbhle Keenan of Monaghan Phoenix took bronze in the Girls U15 High Jump with a best of 8:07, 1cm of Silver while Kaylin O Hanlon Geary of Glaslough Harriers cleared one metre forty five to take bronze. It was also Bronze for Annalee’s Daragh Donohue as his best of 3.92m seen him take third in the Boys U13 Long Jump.
In the National Relay Championships held in conjunction with these championships the Shercock Boys U17 4 X 400m relay team of Jamie Shanley, Michael McCullagh, Nyle Carolan and Sean Harding took THE Bronze medal behind Metro St Brigid’s and Templemore.
Finally congratulations to Conor Duffy of Glaslough Harriers who set a new 5000m personal best in a meet in Huesden, Belgium on Saturday night with a time of 14:27.27
Report compiled by Paul O’Neill