Nadia Power picked up where she left off in 2020, setting a new Irish senior 800m indoor record at the Vienna International meet. The 23-year-old, who won European U-23 bronze in 2019, took over three seconds off her personal best to run 2:02:44. Power broke Siofra Cléirigh Buttner’s previous record of 2:02.46 which was set back in 2018.
It’s been an incredible twelve months for the DCU student who last year set a new Irish U-23 record in Italy which moved her up to 6th on the all-time 800m list. A month later Power, moved to 9th on the all-time Irish list for the mile after running a 4.32.5 in Barcelona.
The new Irish record holder finished second behind British middle-distance runner Keely Hodgkinson who smashed the world under-20 record with a time of 1:59.03.
Next up for Power is a meet in Metz, France, next Saturday. The Dublin City Harriers AC athlete will compete at the European Indoor Championships in Poland, which is scheduled to take place from March 5th-7th
Also in Vienna, Ciara Neville opened up her indoor season by equalling her lifetime indoor best of 7.30 seconds. In her first race in 11 months, Neville came back with a bang as she stormed to victory, pulling away from the field and winning by a clear margin in the 60m sprint. The time of 7.30s is the joint second fastest time any Irish woman has run.
This was Neville’s first race since she won the 60m sprint at the National Indoor Championships for the second time. It was the last time Neville would race as a foot injury put her out of the National Championships in July. A great start to the season for the Emerald AC star.
Finally, there was even more joy for Ireland as Lisnagry athlete, Sarah Lavin, ran a personal best of 8.24 to place fourth in the 60m hurdles. This was Lavin’s first race of 2021 and the Limerick flyer has her sights set on qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics. Next up for Lavin is the World Indoor Series Silver Meet on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Athletics Ireland confirmed the cancellation of the 2021 National Indoor Championships. The decision was taken in light of the ongoing Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions which have been extended until the March 5th.
There is hope that an elite-only event will take place instead, that will allow those athletes on track to make the European and World Indoors, post qualifying times.