Success for Irish Athletes at World Student games and European U23 championships

Pride of place within the Irish Athletics yesterday evening has to go to Carlow IT and Saint Laurence O Toole athlete Marcus Lawler who took a superb Bronze medal over 200m at the World Student Games in Naples writes Paul O’Neill.

Lawler who earlier had also finished third in his Semi Final ran very well from Lane two to take home his first championship medal in 20.55 and it took personal bests from the Gold and Silver Medallists Paulo Andre Camilo of Brazil 20.28 and Chederick Van Wyk 20.46 to beat the Carlow Cannonball.

Two of our top Female performers showed a great return to form after injury. Sarah Lavin of UCD finished an excellent 4th in the 100 Hurdles final in a time of 13.28 which was won in a blistering fast 12.79 by Italian Luminosa Bogliolo with Reetta Hurske of Finland taking Silver in 13.02 and French athlete Coralie Comte taking Bronze in 13.09.

Phil Healy has made a miraculous recovery as 12 weeks ago she had a foot fracture. The Waterford IT athlete will be disappointed in finishing 6th in the Women’s 200m Final with the competitor she is but to put three races back to back in 36 hours is a major plus for the Bandon lass and hopefully she can move forward from this over the course of the remainder of the season.

It was another busy but successful evening for our athletes competing in the U23 European Championships in Sweden. Two of the athletes who excelled come this region namely Niamh Fogarty and Eilish Flanagan, both of whom recorded superb performances to reach their respective finals.

Raheny Shamrock athlete Fogarty threw a new personal of 52.19 meters in the Discus to finish 8th overall across the two pools of throwers while Flanagan who runs with Carmen Runners in Tyrone was never out of the top 5 in her heat of the 3000m Steeplechase eventually comfortably finishing 4th.

The Discus Final is scheduled for 5:30 Irish time this evening while the Steeplechase Final takes place on Saturday at 5:50pm.

The Women’s 800m seen one of our athletes make Saturday’s Final. Nadia Power of Templeogue ran a tactically smart race to finish 2nd in the final of three heats with a time of 2.05.36 behind one of the pre championship favourites Gemma Reekie of Great Britain who was the fastest qualifier for the final.

Despite running well our other two entrants Louise Shanahan 2.08.31 and Jenna Bromell 2.08.41 failed to make the final.

The Women’s 100m Sprinters were back in the Stadium with Ciara Neville and Molly Scott lined up next to each other in the first of two semi finals. Both these young ladies gave a great account of themselves with Neville coming through in the final 20m to take third and automatic qualifying to the Final while Scott after her standard fast start took fifth in 11.78.

In the 2nd Semi Final Gina Apke Moses was drawn in Lane 2 but will be disappointed with her performance in finishing 6th in 11.90. When the times went up Molly Scott had done enough as a fastest non automatic qualifier to join Neville in tomorrow evenings Final.

Our Women’s Sprint Hurdlers were in good form also, with Sarah Quinn , Molly Scott and Kate Doherty, all advancing to the semi-finals.

Quinn set a pb of 13.73 seconds to finish second and automatic qualification.

Scott who was the busiest athlete of the Championships yesterday also advanced automatically in fourth in 14.29 while Kate Doherty progressed as a fastest non-automatic finishing fifth in her heat in 14.05.

The Heptathletes returned to tackle two more events with the Shot Putt and 200m bringing Day 1 to a close for them.

Elizabeth Moreland was in fine form in the Shot setting a new personal best of 12.28m, while in the 200m she tied up slightly over the final 50m recording a time of 25.85. Her points total after day one is 3298, with the Long Jump, Javelin and 800m the events the competitors face tomorrow.

In the final event of the evening and the first final of these championships the Men’s 10,000m Barry Keane finished 9th in 29:01 while Gary Campbell of Dunleer was 19th in 30:24.

The Gold Medal was won by Jimmy Gressier in 28 minutes 44.17 seconds. The French athlete added this track title to the European Cross Country title in the same age group in Tilburg last December.

In the Mens Pole Vault Sean Roth was in Pool B and a clearance of 5.05m had him finish 16th of the 26 competitors across the two pools with the top 12 going forward to the Final.

Both the 1500m Mens Heats were very tactical with both Cathal Doyle 3:49.25 and Luke McCann 3:51.50 finishing 10th in their races and well off qualification.