Athletics

Irish Stars Impress At National Indoor Championships

Ireland’s star athletes competed at the Irish Life Health National Senior Indoor Championships on February 29th and March 1st at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena in Dublin.

Phil Healy (Bandon) claimed the gold medal in the women’s 200m, with a Championship and stadium record of 23.16. The Cork native was the clear winner as she stormed down the track finishing near 8m ahead of second place.

Healy’s Olympic qualification is also a step closer as a result of the ranking points she earned in her victory. Prior to the race, the Bandon AC runner was ranked 29th of the 56 who will achieve the standard required to make the startline of her event in Tokyo.

Seventeen year old Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght A.C.) earned a silver medal. The young runner, who is also the European Youth Olympic 100m and 200m champion, finished with a time of 24.08.

In the 60m event, stacked with high-class Irish talent, Ciara Neville (Emerald A.C.) came first with a time of 7.30, beating sisters Joan and Phil Healy with times of 7.33 and 7.36 respectively. Neville found an extra gear in the last 10m to pull away and equal her U23 Irish record in the process. Last July, Neville won the 100m gold at the Irish Life Health National Senior Track and Field Championships.

Dublin City Harriers’ Nadia Power earned a gold medal in the 800m which she lead from start to finish. Power has made great progress of late as she continues to make the transition from U23 to senior level. At the U23 European Championships last summer, the DCU marketing student won a bronze.

DCU’s Sophie Becker claimed her first senior title in the 400m race in 53.75 seconds where she narrowly edged out Sharlene Mawdsley in a fine 400 metres duel. Louise Shanahan (Leevale) triumphed in the 1500m with a time of 4:40.45 to win first place, followed by UCD’s Ciara Everard in 4:40.78 and Amy O’Donoghue (Emerald) in 4:42.44.

In the 3000m race, Ciara Wilson (D.M.P. A.C.), who also competes in triathlons, won the gold medal, while in the 3000m race walk Kate Veale (West Waterford A.C.) came out on top with a time of 14:47.05, retaining the title.

The 60m hurdles saw last year’s winner Kate Doherty (DSD) lose out to Sarah Quinn (St. Colman’s South Mayo), breaking away in the final seconds.

Five time national champion triple jumper Saragh Buggy scooped two titles in the long jump and the triple jump, with distances of 6.05m and 12.80m respectively. In the high jump, Pippa Rogan (Sli Cualann) and Sommer Lecky (Finn Valley) were joint winners.

American Ariel Lieghio of Cloniffe Harriers vaulted to success, earning a gold medal in the pole vault, while in the shot put Michaela Walsh (Swinford A.C.) came out on top.

The top three clubs in the 4x200m relay were Leevale in 1:42.26, Dublin City Harriers in 1:42.48 and Tallaght in 1:42.76.

Before the men’s 60m final, those present in the arena remembered athlete Craig Lynch, who passed away last September. The Craig Lynch Cup was awarded to Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim) following his 60m victory. Adams had “Lynch #justrace” on the back of his race number in a nod to Lynch.

Courtney Fitzmaurice

Her Sport contributor. DCU journalism grad. Former Sports Editor at The College View.

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