On a windy morning in Baku, Team Ireland athletes were competing in athletics, cycling and swimming at the Summer European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF). The EYOF is a European event for athletes aged 14-18 that runs every two years. Baku is hosting the 2019 edition which runs from the 21 – 27 July.
In athletics Diarmuid O’Connor was the first in action competing in the decathlon, starting the day lying in sixth position and winning the hurdles, his strongest event. Swimmer Molly Mayne booked her place in this evening’s semi-final of the Girl’s 200m Breaststroke, and Caoimhe May was the top finisher in Girl’s 10m Time Trial. Robert McDonnell was competing in the Boy’s 400m, where he ran a personal best time in the heats.
In this evening’s session all eyes will be on Rhasidat Adeleke in the Girl’s 100m Final at 17:35 Irish time. Also competing in finals on the track are Israel Olatunde in the Boy’s 100m and Ciara Sheehy in the Girl’s Shotput, as well as Conor Cusack in the Javelin.
The semi-finals of the Girl’s 200m Breaststroke at 14:52 will see swimmer Mayne in action once more, and at the Velo Park cyclists Adam Gilsenan, Darren Rafferty and Mark McGarry tackle the Boy’s Time Trial.
DETAILED BREAKDOWN BY SPORT BELOW
Swimmer Molly Mayne qualified for the semi-finals of the Girl’s 200m Breaststroke at the EYOF with a time of 2.32.67 – the sixth fastest time of the day. The time was just outside her personal best, but the Templeogue Swimming Club racer performed well.
“It was okay, not a season’s best, but I felt I swam it well and felt I did my best,” Mayne commented after her race. “On the first 50 I tried to take it out fast but not too fast keeping my stroke efficient. Then I tried to work on my pull out on the second 50 and just a slight build. Then on the third 50 I tried to put a stronger build and get my rate up, and then on the last one I tried to get my rate up as fast as I could.”
The Dubai based swimmer with Galway heritage will be back in action again at 14:52 Irish time.
Orwell Wheelers cyclist Caoimhe May was the top finisher for Team Ireland in the Girl’s Time Trial at the Velo Park in Baku today. In tricky, windy conditions the Dublin rider finished the 10km course in a time of 17.01.66, 2.25.41 behind race winner Zoe Backstedt from GB.
Erin Creighton finished 30 seconds further back in 51st with 17.31.06, and Flagbearer at the Opening Ceremony Aoife O’Brien was 59th in a time of 17.53.82.
Speaking after the race, May described a hard day on the bike, where she left everything on the road, “It was more or less a headwind to the first corner, I tried to get across to the other side to get some wind block from the barrier in the middle and the wind wouldn’t let me. I was leaning into the side and trying to turn my wheel and there was no hope of me getting across!
“It was a bit of a tailwind up the first part of the hill, but coming towards the top was absolutely awful! I hit a max heartrate and had a headwind right up to the top. I couldn’t have gone any harder. It was hard work all the way.”
In the Time Trial riders race individually against the clock at one minute intervals. May caught her ‘Minute Person’ coming towards the finish, “About halfway down the hill when it started going into the wind towards the finish I caught the girl who started a minute ahead of me so I was happy enough with that. You start to feel fairly confident then, it gives you more of a push when you know you are closing in on someone – it’s good.”
At the Tofiq Bahranov Stadium Robert McDonnell buried himself in the Boy’s 400m to finish with a massive personal best of 48.42, just outside qualifying standard.
Diarmuid O’Connor was also in action competing in the Boy’s Decathlon, where he now lies in 7th position going into the eighth event with 5187 points. The Bandon all rounder had a phenomenal evening last night when he smashed his PB in the high jump, today he went one better winning the 110m hurdles. Norway’s Sander Skotheim now leads with a total of 5681 points, with the pole vault, javelin and the final 1500m race left in the competition.
The daily schedule of Team Ireland in Baku can be found HERE
ATHLETICS Diarmuid O’Connor Decathlon, after 7 events lying 7th.
ATHLETICS Robert McDonnell 400m heats – 4th in Heat, PB of 48.42
CYCLING Aoife O’Brien Girl’s Time Trials – 59th with 17.53.82
CYCLING Caoimhe May Girl’s Time Trials – 39th with 17.01.66
CYCLING Erin Creighton Girl’s Time Trials – 51st with 17.31.06
SWIMMING Molly Mayne 200m Breast – 6th fastest qualifier for SF with 2.32.67