Athletics

Your Ultimate European Indoor Athletics Preview

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The European Athletics Indoor Championships are kicking off and there are high hopes for Team Ireland. 
We’ve put together a clear guide which has all you need to know about the Irish contenders and your guide to navigating the jam packed schedule. Athletes are introduced in order of appearance and we will have continued updates as the racing gets underway.

Thursday, 4th March -Updated

EVENT: 3000m

Michelle Finn

Michelle Finn

Event: 3000m (Heat 1)
Time: 6:30pm
Club: Leevale AC
Personal Best: 9:02.34
Achievements: 2016 Olympian
2021 European Indoor Result: Finished 9th in the 3000m heat. Did not qualify for the final.

RECENT FORM

Michelle Finn of Leevale AC secured her place at the European Indoors competing at Val de Reuil. Finn took first place with a time of 9:02.34 and a new personal best. Finn who is coached by Feidhlim Kelly of Dublin Track Club, moved up one place in the All-Time Irish Women’s Indoor Rankings, to 10th. A day later, Finn competed in the 1500m and ran another PB of 4:15.23 while she was also present at the Irish Life Health Micro Meet where she was the pacemaker in the 1500m event.

RESULTS:

On the opening day of the Championships, Michelle Finn came home ninth in a field of 12 in her 3000m heat. Finn did not progress to the final, with the first four in each heat and the next four fastest times advancing to the final. With a time of 9:05.44, the Leevale AC runner did not progress.
The final was won by GB’s Amy-Eloise Markovic.

Friday, 5th March – Updated

EVENT: 400m

Phil Healy

Phil Healy

Event: 400m (Heat 5)
Time: 10.54am
Club: Bandon Athletics Club
Personal Best: 51.99
Achievements: Irish 100m & 200m Record Holder
2021 European Indoor: Qualified for her first ever major championship final.
Runs on 6th March 2021 in the European 400m Final.

RECENT FORM

Phil Healy is Ireland’s fastest woman and a semi-finalist at the 2019 European Indoor Championships in this event. Healy is only getting started, fresh out of the blocks with a season opener and personal best time of 51.99 at the Irish Life Health Indoor Micro Meet. This time ranks Phil Healy 6th fastest in Europe, and second on the Irish All-Time list in her first competitive outing of 2021.

Sophie Becker

Sophie Becker

Event: 400m (Heat 2)
Time: 10.30am
Club: Raheny Shamrocks
Personal Best: 53.20
Achievements: Ranked 56th In Europe
2021 European Indoor Result: Finished 26th overall and fourth in her 400m heat. Ran a time of 53.31 – 0.11 seconds off her PB.

RECENT FORM

Sophie Becker is the second fastest Irish woman in this event and is off the back of a personal best at the Irish Life Health Micro Meet. Her time of 53.20 saw her .4 of a second under the qualification standard and will get her that valuable international racing. Becker will be out to impress as she lines up against Europe’s fastest athletes. At 23 years of age, there’s more to come from this promising talent.

Sharlene Mawdsley

Sharlene Mawdsley

Event: 400m (Heat 7)
Time: 11.10am
Club: Newport Athletics Club
Personal Best: 53.56
Achievements: Ranked 43rd In Europe
2021 European Indoor Result: Finished 33rd overall. Finished 5th in her heat in her first ever major championship. Ran a time of 53.68. 

RECENT FORM

Sharlene Mawdsley is putting the work in, continuously seeking to better herself and better her performances. Her hard work and dedication during an unusual year clearly paid off as she ran a new personal best of 53.56 at the Irish Life Health Indoor Micro Meet. Lining up beside the best, Mawdsley raced against Phil Healy and Sophie Becker, at the meet, with each gaining great race experience and their fastest times in the event to date. She dipped under the qualification time for the meet and will gain great experience at this international event.

Finals: 7th March, 7.25pm

EVENT: 800m

Siofra Cleirigh Buttner

Síofra Cleirigh Buttner

Event: 800m (Heat 3)
Time: 12.16pm
Club: Dundrum South Dublin/New Balance Boston
Personal Best: 2:00.58
AchievementsNational Record Holder
2021 European Indoor Result: A surprise early exit for Ireland’s record holder. With the top-three in each heat qualifying, Buttner missed out finishing fourth. Her time of 2:04.47 was the fastest of everyone who did not qualify. Finished 10th overall.

RECENT FORM

Siofra Cleirigh Buttner is one to watch for the European Indoors, an athlete that is truly tearing up the track. Buttner set the recent Irish Indoor 800m National Record on the 21st of February, which was almost a two second improvement on her personal best from 2018. She also recently ran a personal best in the 1500m so is in good race shape and will hope to continue on this trajectory this weekend

Nadia Power

Nadia Power

Event: 800m (Heat 5)
Time: 12.32pm
Club: Dublin City Harriers
Personal Best: 2:00.98
Achievements: Second on All-Time List
2021 European Indoor Result: Qualified for the 800m semi final which takes place on 6th March. 

RECENT FORM

Nadia Power has shown consistency and flair over the past few months. Power will have an air of confidence going into the European Championships, having more racing under her belt than most of the other Irish contenders. On the 30th of January 2021, Power claimed the 800m record in a time of 2.02.44 and has kept improving since. Less than three weeks after her first record, she pushed the boundaries further racing in Poland, running 2.00.98. She now sits second on the all time list and will be pushing for even further improvements over the weekend.

Georgie Hartigan

Georgie Hartigan

Event: 800m (Heat 6)
Time: 12.40pm
Club
Personal Best: 2:01.48
Achievements: Third on All-Time List
2021 European Indoor Result: Finished 11th overall and the second fastest time of everyone who did not qualify, running 2:04.74. Finished fourth in her heat and just missed out on qualification for the semi-final.

RECENT FORM

Georgie Hartigan has proved she’s a gutsy racer as she claimed first place in the 800m at the Irish Life Health Micro Meet and is third on the All-Time list for the event. Hartigan surprised the viewers with this incredible performance and showed her class and calibre. Irish 800m runners are flying right now and nothing is out of the question. With many Irish athletes making the European standard in this event, Hartigan as one of the three qualifiers will be seeking a fast time to stay top 3 in Ireland. 

Semi Finals: 6th March, 6.00pm
Finals: 7th March, 5.13pm

EVENT: 400m Semi Finals

Start time: 6.33pmIrish Hopefuls: Phil Healy

Saturday, 6th March

EVENT: 60m Hurdles

Start Time: 11.32pm

Sarah Lavin

Sarah Lavin

Event: 60m  Hurdles 
Time
Club: Emerald Athletics Club
Personal Best: 8.13
Achievements: Second on All-Time List
2021 European Indoor Result: Smashed her own PB to run 8.06 and qualify for the 60m hurdles semi-final on 7th March.

RECENT FORM

Sarah Lavin has been in blistering form in 2021. In almost every race she has competed in so far, the UCD hurdler has lowered her personal best. In Vienna earlier this year, Lavin became another Emerald AC athlete to qualify for the European Indoor Championships. Most recently, the Limerick speedster broke her personal best twice in the space of an hour. Lavin clocked 8.13 at the World Indoor Tour in Madrid which put her up to second on the all-time list. Only Derval O’Rourke has run faster, setting a time of 7.84 in Moskva back in 2006.
Progression:
Semi Finals: 7th March, 12.30pm
Final: 7th March, 4.15pm

EVENT: 800m Semi Final

Start Time: 6.00pm
Irish Hopefuls:  Nadia Power

EVENT: 400m Final

Final: 7.25pm
Irish Hopefuls: Phil Healy

Sunday, 7th March

EVENT: 60m 

Start Time: 9.18am

Molly Scott

Molly Scott

Event: 60m 
Time: 9.34am
Club: St. Laurence O’Tooles
Personal Best: 7.32
Achievements: Silver Medal at World U20 Championships

RECENT FORM

Molly Scott ran 7.36 at the Irish Life Health Micro Meet last week to secure her spot on the plane to Poland. Scott took first place in the two 60m events, running 7.36 and 7.37 respectively. The former Carlow IT student has switched coaches in September and now trains under Shane McCormack. Scott competed at the National Outdoor Championships last summer to claim bronze in the 100m hurdles and narrowly missed out on bronze in the 100m.

Ciara Neville

Ciara Neville

Event: 60m 
Time: 9.18am
Club: Emerald Athletics Club
Personal Best: 7.30
Achievements: Joint second on All-Time list

RECENT FORM

Ciara Neville qualified for the European Indoor Athletics Championships earlier in January as she equalled her life-time best with a time of 7.30. In what was her first race in almost a year, Neville ran the second fastest ever 60m time by an Irish woman showing her incredible potential and ability. The Limerick flyer currently holds the U20 Irish National record in the 60m and holds Ireland’s second-fastest 100m outdoor time. With the top 56 sprinters automatically qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics this summer, Neville is within the rankings at the moment, sitting 54th in the rankings.

Joan Healy

Joan Healy

Event: 60m 
Time: 9.42am
Club: Leevale Athletics Club
Personal Best: 7.31
Achievements: Join 4th on the all-time Irish List

RECENT FORM

Joan Healy continues her comeback trail from her plantar fasciitis injury which has kept her off the track since October. Healy, a secondary school teacher, had the European Indoor qualifying standard time from 2020 but competed at the Irish Life Health Micro Meet last week to get competition into her legs. Healy opened up with a time of 7.42 and has her sights set on qualifying for the semi-finals at the upcoming Europeans. Currently tied for fourth on the all-time Irish list in the 60m, Healy is a member of the Irish 4x100m relay team who have aspirations of making it to Tokyo. 
Progression:
Semi Final: 7th March, 11.40am
Final: 7th March, 5.46pm

EVENT: 60m Hurdles Semi Finals & Final

Semi Final: 11.40am
Final: 4.15pm
Irish Hopefuls: Sarah Lavin

EVENT: 800m Finals

Final: 5.13pm
Irish Hopefuls: Nadia Power

EVENT: 60m Finals

Final: 5.46pm
Irish Hopefuls: Ciara Neville, Molly Scott, Joan HealyWatch all the action on RTE Player or on the European Athletics Live Stream!

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