Athletics National Championship Update

Thomas Barr won his 5th title in style at the National Track and Field Championships in Morton Stadium.
“It was good consolidating run, after the London Diamond League,” said Barr who won impressively in windy in 49.68 seconds. “I was a little bit deflated. I hadn’t competed in a few weeks with training and travelling. It was just what I needed going into Beijing. It was a fast run given the conditions we had and the race we had.” Paul Byrne (St Abban’s AC) was second in 50.72 with Brandon Arrey (Blarney/ Inniscara AC) third in 54.78.


Heffernan disqualified but ready for Beijing

Unfortunately Robert Heffernan (Togher) was disqualified at the 5km mark in the 10,000m race walk at the start of the day. Leevale’s Alex Wright took the victory in 40:04.29  with Brendan Boyce (Letterkenny AC) second in 41:16.25 and Cian McManamon (Westport AC) third in 43:07.52.

Heffernan, the defending world champion going into Beijing later this month, got three yellow cards for lifting but wasn’t too downhearted.

“It was disappointing I didn’t get to do the second half of the race but I’m very happy with my form,” said Heffernan afterwards.  “At 3:50 a kilometre (pace) things are highlighted. I race 50km at 4:20 a kilometre. The fact I was able to bang out 3:50 a kilometre, I felt very strong, controlled. I said I’ll get to 5km and bury it and drive it home.

“My training has gone well (for Beijing). I want to win a medal. I’ve always wanted to win a medal, if I can control what I can do and deliver a performance.”

English edges to third national title

Mark English (UCD) held off Clonliffe Harriers’ Declan Murray to win his third national title in 1:50.94 – Murray ran 1:51.04 and Niall Tuohy (Ferrybank AC) was third with 1:51.50.
“I just had to try hold Declan off, it’s a different skill,” said English. “I’m just happy to come through it and get the win. I was trying to run controlled and practice that smooth running style. I was trying to run as efficiently as I could.”

English now builds towards Beijing in what will be his second world championships. “I can’t forget what happened last time, I need to be aware of those lads. Moscow was tactics, not really preparation, I was in great shape, I’m going to go out there and give it a blast.”

Gregan returns to win thrilling 400m

Brian Gregan won an exciting 400m in 46.20 with relay spots up for grabs for the world championships. Gregan got a bye into the final having finished second in Belgium on Saturday night in 45.81. Brian Murphy (Crusaders) running in his 15th national final got up for second in 46.96. His Crusaders club mate, Richard Morrissey, was third in 47.00.

Mageean shows class in 800m

Ciara Mageean showed real class in winning the women’s 800m in 2:02.98 ahead of Laura Crowe (An Riocht) in second in 2:04.17 and Ciara Everard third in 2:07.42.

Treacy on the double

Sara Treacy (Dunboyne) completed an impressive double winning the 1500m with a front-running performance in 4:18.62. Treacy won the 3,000m steeplechase on Saturday in 9:58.92. Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle) was second in4:19.10 with Emma Mitchell (Banbridge) third in 4:22.51.

McMullen goes long

Adam McMullen (Crusaders) produced an impressive series in the men’s long jump with a best of 7.89m which was unfortunately over the legal wind limit for a new personal best. He still produced an impressive personal best of 7.74m in the earlier rounds. Ciaran Dolan (Finn Valley) was second with 7.28m and Colm Bourke (Raheny Shamrock) was third with 7.18m.

Fitzgerald and Breathnach win shot titles

Claire Fitzgerald won her third medal, and second gold, with a distance of 14.83m in the women’s shot put. Michaela Walsh (Swinford) bagged her second medal of the championships with a best of 14.18m and Alan Frattoroli (Limerick) got the bronze with 12.89m.

Sean Breathnach (Galway City Harriers) with an impressive 17.63m, well ahead of up-and-coming youngster Anu Awonusi (St Laurence O’Toole)  in second with a best of 15.14m with Bandon’s Patrick McSweeney third with 12.64m. Breathnach had to settle for fourth in the discus with Crusaders’ Colin Quirke winning the national title with a best of 54.09m. European junior representative Eoin Sheridan (North Westmeath) was second with a best of 49.95m and Marco Pons (DMP) was third with 49.91m.

Pender beats Foroughi on countback

Barry Pender (St Abban’s) and Kourosh Foroughi (Star of the Sea) both cleared an impressive 2.15m but it was Pender who got the gold on countback. Both athletes were unsuccessful at 2.19m in what was an absorbing contest. Andrew Heney (Clonliffe Harriers) got the bronze with a leap of 2.05m

The initial selection of the Irish team for the World Track and Field Championships is expected to be announced today.

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