Athletics Ireland announced a squad of 23 athletes for the upcoming World Athletics Championships in Budapest which run from August 19th – 27th 2023.
The Irish squad is the largest ever selected for a World Athletics Championships and will see the 23 strong team (which could rise to 26 in the coming days) take to competition alongside over 2,000 athletes from 200 countries at the brand new 35,000 capacity National Athletics Stadium in Budapest.
Spearheading the Irish challenge across the busy nine-day schedule will be European Championship medal winners Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn AC), Mark English (Finn Valley AC), and Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC), while Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC) and Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght AC) will also look to continue their outstanding seasons.
Speaking at the team announcement, Athletics Ireland Director of High Performance, Paul McNamara said:
“With 16 individual athletes selected, and the potential for further additions in the coming days, plus two relay squads, this is the largest team we have sent to a World Championships, despite the higher qualification standards than any previous edition of this championships, and with 8 athletes inside the A standard. This team includes multiple athletes, both seasoned campaigners and rising stars, that are primed to make an impact, building further on the upward trajectory seen in Oregon and Munich in 2022”.
Team selections as of 10.08.2023
|Rhasidat Adeleke||400m, W4x400m||Tallaght AC||Edrick Floreal|
|Sharlene Mawdsley||400m, Mx4x400m, W4x400m||Newport AC||Gary Ryan|
|Louise Shanahan||800m||Leevale AC||Phil O’Dell|
|Ciara Mageean||1500m||City of Lisburn AC||Helen Clitheroe|
|Sophie O’Sullivan||1500m||Ballymore Cobh AC||Mauricia Powell|
|Sarah Healy||1500m||UCD AC||Trevor Painter|
|Sarah Lavin||100mH||Emerald AC||Noelle Morrissey|
|Kate O’Connor||Heptathlon||Dundalk St. Gerald’s AC||Michael O’Connor|
|Sophie Becker||Mx 4x400m, W4x400m||Raheny Shamrocks AC||Jeremy Lyons & Gerard O’Donnell|
|Roisin Harrison||Mx 4x400m, W4x400m||Emerald AC||Eoghan McNamara|
|Niamh Murray||W4x400m||Bray Runners||Aine Murray & Joe Ryan|
|Kelly McGrory||W4x400m||Tir Chonaill AC||Drew & Hayley Harrison|
|North Sligo AC||Benke Blomqvist|
|John Fitzsimons||800m||Kildare AC||Joe Ryan|
|Mark English||800m||UCD AC||Feidhlim Kelly|
|Andrew Coscoran||1500m||Star of the Sea AC||Feidhlim Kelly|
|1500m||UCD AC||Thomas Dreißigacker & Clark McCann|
|Nick Griggs||1500m||Candour Track Club||Mark Kirk|
|Brian Fay||5000m||Raheny Shamrocks AC||Feidhlim Kelly|
|David Kenny||20km Walk||Farranfore Maine Valley AC||Rob Heffernan|
|Brendan Boyce||35km Walk||Finn Valley AC||Rob Heffernan|
|Eric Favors||Shot Put||Raheny Shamrocks AC||Dane Miller|
|Jack Raftery||Mx 4x400m||Donore Harriers AC||Jeremy Lyons & Gerard O’Donnell|
|Callum Baird||Mx 4x400m||Ballymena & Antrim AC||Ian Neely|
Ciara Mageean will head to Budapest full of confidence having smashed Sonia O’Sullivan’s long standing national mile record last month with an incredible 4.14.58.
Mageean will be joined in the 1500m by European U23 medallists Sophie O’Sullivan (Ballymore Cobh AC) and Sarah Healy (UCD AC) who have already provided Irish fans with two of the highlights of the season with their performances in Espoo and most recently at the National Track and Field Championships where they went toe-to-toe for gold and silver once more.
Mark English returns to the 800m and will be joined by the in-form and newly crowned national 800m champion John Fitzsimons (Kildare AC), while Thomas Barr returns to the 400m hurdles having looked very sharp in Morton last weekend.
Rhasidat Adeleke takes to her second World Championships having broken her own Irish 400m with a 49.20 in June to claim gold at the NCAA Championships, becoming the first Irish sprinter ever to win an NCAA title.
Much expectation has been put on the shoulders of the 20-year-old Tallaght sprinter, and while her appearance at Oregon 2022 is sure to stand to her at this year’s championships, the women’s 400m looks one of the hottest events in world athletics at present.
Adeleke will be joined in the 400m by Sharlene Mawdsley (Newport AC) who has moved to another level this season, ranking 4th on the Irish all-time list thanks to her 51.34 in June. The Tipperary star also looks set to play a leading role in the relays.
Sarah Lavin is also no stranger to World Championship finals having made the world indoor 60mH final in Belgrade last year before following that milestone up with a superb European Games bronze medal in Poland earlier this summer. The Emerald AC athlete looked brimming with confidence at nationals and her recent 12.74 at the Diamond League in Monaco confirmed her place among the world’s elite of 100m hurdling.
The Irish relay teams have enjoyed tremendous success in global competition over the past two years, and the women’s 4x400m team looks particularly strong with Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght AC), Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrock), Sharlene Mawdsley (Newport AC), Cliodhna Manning (Kilkenny City Harriers), Roisin Harrison (Emerald AC), and Kelly McGrory (Tir Chonaill) all selected.
Sligo’s Christopher O’Donnell will head a mixed 4x400m relay squad which has a blend of youth and experience as they go in search of back-to-back world finals. O’Donnell may also yet receive a quota spot in the individual 400m.
Andrew Coscoran (Star of the A.C.) broke his own Irish 1500m record with a sensational performance at the Silesia Diamond League meeting earlier this season, finishing fourth in a world class field in 3.30.42. The Balbriggan athlete will have sights firmly set on making the 1500m final later in the week.
Luke McCann (UCD AC) also goes in the 1500m and with the UCD athlete boasting a personal best of 3:34.76 from indoors, he is sure to have another big outdoor performance on the horizon. Ireland could have a third entry in the men’s 1500m should Nick Griggs be re-allocated a quota spot in the coming days.
Olympians Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC), David Kenny (Farranfore Maine Valley AC), and Brendan Boyce (Finn Valley AC) also return to global competition, as will recent Irish 5,000m record-breaker Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock AC).
The Dubliner produced the race of his life to finish second in a top-quality field last month, crossing the line in a time of 13.01.40 to break the record of Alistair Cragg which had stood since September 2011.
Irish throws will also be represented in Budapest with Irish shot put record-holder Eric Favors (Raheny Shamrock) primed to bring his consistent run of form into his second World Championships.
For the first time ever, Virgin Media will broadcast live coverage of the World Athletics Championships, returning the event to Irish terrestrial television for the first time in decades. The Championships, which start on 19th August, will see Virgin Media present live coverage across all nine days.