Fourth For Clodagh Gill in 3000m

FOURTH FOR CLODAGH GILL IN THE 3000M FINAL AT EYOF

Sprinter Jesse Osas Named as Flagbearer for Team Ireland at the Closing Ceremony

The final day of competition at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Banska Bystrica saw further personal best performances, bringing to fifteen the number of top ten performances by Team Ireland at the Games. The highlight performance from the Games was the bronze medal won by Sean Cronin in the 1500m last Tuesday.

Today, Ballina’s Clodagh Gill had a sensational run in today’s 3000m Final, pulling out a personal best time of 9:47.25, 3 seconds faster than her previous best. The Moyvalley AC runner shook off some pre-race nerves to execute a mature race, just one place outside the medals,

“It went great, I was nervous enough going into it. At the tent, I wasn’t feeling too good about it, But I went out on the track and I saw my coach (Philip Finnerty), and he gave me a little wink.”

The fifteen-year-old was one of the youngest racers in the field, “at the start of the race it was fast enough. I stuck behind the group. I knew the Italian and Czech girls were good, so I kept up the pace throughout, I said I’d try my best to stick with them. I saw the Spanish girl slowly coming back to me, and I wondered if I could catch her, but maybe next year.”

In last night’s Boy’s 200m Final, Toby Thompson finished fifth with a time of 22.19, which was 0.01 seconds off his personal best. The Belfast sprinter had already competed in the qualifying heats of the Medley Relay that morning, before producing a fast time in the evening race. Speaking after the race the Ballymena & Antrim Athletics Club runner said,

“Qualified in fifth, and ended up coming fifth, so I can’t really complain. Although, I really do think that I could have run better, but it is what it is and I did make it to the finals. My legs were probably a bit dead from this morning, but I’ll take a hundredth of a second off my PB, especially this late at night.”

Thompson was in action again this morning as part of the Boy’s Medley Relay team, who clocked a PB with a time of 1:57.79, netting a sixth place finish in the finals.

“I feel like me and the boy’s did the best we could, Jesse had a great first leg, I held my own. Cormac and Jason held their own as well, I feel like they ran a faster leg, and that’s why we got a PB, but it just so happened that the other boys were quicker than us, so I’m happy with that.”

100m sprinter and athletics team captain Jesse Osas, who was named as flagbearer for the closing ceremony summed up the race saying,

“Coming to Slovakia has been a great experience, I feel like if we come here again we will do a way better, it just wasn’t our day.”

In the Girl’s 1500m Lucy Foster clocked a time 2 seconds faster than her heat time, to finish tenth overall with 4:34.39.

Team Ireland Chef de Mission for the EYOF in Banska Bystrica, Gavin Noble, summed up a successful Games for the Irish team saying,

I would say it was an overall successful Games. A lot of athletes came here with this being the first time they actually represented Ireland, outside of Ireland. So it was a huge experience for them. I've been super impressed by so many personal bests and especially within the athletics group.  But at the end of the day where they come in their overall ranking is not necessarily the concern, it's more how they've approached the games, how they've learned.

“Overall it's been a privilege for us in the OFI to support and so many talented Irish athletes and coaches. We have spoken about that quite a lot before, from club to country, so thanks to all of those club coaches who are doing amazing work around Ireland.

“Thank you to all the coaches, support staff and team leaders out here, supporting the athletes. It is the first time that we have had an all female group of team leaders, they were all exceptional. We are looking forward to reviewing the process, and preparing for the next edition.”

This brings to an end competition at the EYOF in Banska Bystrica, Slovakia. The next summer EYOF will take place in Maribor, Slovenia from 23-29 July 2023.

RESULTS – SATURDAY 30 JULY 2022

Athletics

Girl’s 3000m Final – Clodagh Gill – 4th with 9:47.25 (PB)

Boy’s 200m Final – Toby Thompson – 5th overall with 0:22.19 (Friday night)

Boy’s Medley Relay

Jesse Osas, Toby Thompson, Cormac Crotty, Jason O’Reilly – 6th with 1:57.79

Girl’s 1500m Final –Lucy Foster – 10th with 4:34.39

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