A majestic weekend for Ireland’s middle-distance runners.
Nadia Power continued her upward trajectory, winning the 800m at the IFAM meet in Belgium. Power blitzed her way to victory with the second-fastest time of her indoor career, running 2:02.83.
The Dublin City Harriers athlete dominated the field, finishing over a second ahead of Germany’s Tanja Spill (2:03.75) in second and Italy’s Elena Bello (2:03.91) in third.
Last month, Power broke the Irish 800m indoor record in her first competitive run of the season. The DCU runner clocked 2:02.44 at the Vienna Indoor Meet.
In the same event, former St. John’s University student Claire Mooney finished sixth with a time of 2:06:79. In the 400m, Sharlene Mawdsley clocked a time of 54.86 to cross the line in 8th at the IFAM Gent Indoor Meet.
Next up for Nadia Power is the 800m at the World Indoor Tour in Poland before attention turns to the big one, the European Indoor Athletics Championships, which take place in the same venue from March 5-7.
Across the water, New Balance athlete Síofra Cléirigh Büttner, secured qualification for the European Indoor Championships after clocking the second fastest ever 1500m time by an Irish woman.
Büttner, who is based in America under the guidance of Marc Coogan, ran 4:09.67 to secure third place behind USA’s duo Heather Maclean and Corey McGee, at the World Indoor Tour in Boston. This was an improvement by over two seconds on her previous best. Only one Irish woman has run faster – Ciara Mageean also in Boston, setting a 4:06.42 record last year.
The Athletics Ireland 1500m qualifying standard for the European Indoor championships currently sits at 4:13.75 while the 800m standard is set at 2:03.85.
Over in France, the Irish Nationals 800m champion and 1500m silver medallist, Iseult O’Donnell, secured top spot in the 800m at Val d’Oise. The Raheny Shamrock athlete crossed over in a time of 2:03.27 which ranks her second among the Irish 800m athletes this season. O’Donnell’s time inside the qualification standard for upcoming European Indoor championships in Poland next month.
In Manchester, a host of Irish athletes competed at the Bryggen Sports Invitational.
The 800m saw Irish athletes dominate, taking second to fifth. There was a special performance by Louise Shanahan who also ran a European Indoor championship qualifying time of 2.03.52. Katie Kirk was just behind Shanahan as she crossed over with a time of 2.04.09. Ciara Mageean finished in 4th place with a time of 2.04.40 while Georgie Hartigan, who is now eligible to represent Ireland, crossed over in fifth with a time of 2.04.44.
Also in Manchester, Amy O’Donohue was also present at the Bryggen Sports Invitational where she competed in the 1500m event. O’Donoghue ran a new personal best taking four seconds off her Indoor PB. The Limerick flyer went agonisingly close to the qualifying standard with a time of 4.14.54.
Finally, Michelle Finn ran a personal best in the 1500m with a time of 4:15.23 in Val de Reuil.