Pushing Limits: 800m Girls On Fire

Eyes were on the Irish Life Micro Meet in Abbottstown over the weekend, as Ireland’s finest lined up to seek European qualification standards, get valuable racing and continue to push the limits. While we thought Georgie Hartigan’s speedy run and pure delight was going to be the highlight of the 800m this weekend, Síofra Cleirgh Buttner was in action a few hours later on US soil and she etched her name in the record books yet again.

Let’s get a full understanding of what is happening in the 800m event.

Síofra Cleirigh Buttner held the Irish Indoor National Record for 800m – the time: 2.02.46, up until the 30th of January 2021. Nadia Power cinched the record on that day in a time of 2.02.44. Less than three weeks after her first record, the DCU star pushed the boundaries further racing in Poland, running 2.00.98.

Up until this weekend, only five women had run faster than 2:03 indoors since 1990. While we expected some European Indoor qualification standards to be hit at the Irish Life Micro Meet, we didn’t quite expect the display that we got.

Read the full report on the Micro-Meet and find out who has made the squad for the European Indoor Championships in Poland, here.

The 800m was paced by Sinead Denny who took it off to a blistering start. Claire Mooney and Georgie Hartigan stuck with her but based off their performances of late and their PBs it was expected they would drop back in the final two laps. Katie Kirk took a steadier approach, leading the group that also had Iseult O’Donnell, Louise Shanahan and Jenna Bromell, most of whom had fast racing last week. As the final two laps got under way, the gap closed between Mooney and the rest of the group, while Georgie Hartigan still powered ahead. Louise Shanahan put in the work closing the gap but Hartigan held on and stayed strong down the home straight, finishing in a time of 2.01.48.

Hartigan was ecstatic and couldn’t believe the result. She had become the second fastest Irish woman in Ireland. Shanahan finished in 2.01.67 and Iseult O’Donnell in 2.02.29. All of these times were quicker than Siofra Cleirigh Buttners record which was broken less than a month ago.

Watch below from 1:53:30 to see the 800m at the Irish Life Health Micro Meet.

Síofra Cleirigh Buttner was no doubt inspired by her Irish teammates and determined to show her rapid speed. Power took the record from Cleirigh Buttner for just three weeks before Cleirigh Buttner showed her class and style as she ran a new Irish record of 2.00.58 0.4 seconds faster than Powers record from last week. Cleirigh Buttner may be overseas, but she is continuing to show she is one of the best Irish middle distance runners, having recently attained a 1500m . 

Cleirigh Buttner was racing in the American Track League meeting at Fayetteville, Arkansas. The Team New Balance athlete stormed home in second place, behind her teammate Heather Maclean of the USA in a close finish, beaten by just .06 of a second as she closed hard on the lead near the finish line.

In the last five days five different Irish athletes have posted the five fastest runs in the history of the indoor event in Ireland.

Four of those athletes – Cleirigh Buttner, Nadia Power, Georgie Hartigan and Louise Shanahan – are inside the top 20 of the World rankings which is more than any other country in the top 20.

While the 800m is a very exciting event at the moment, we have seen exceptional form across the board as athletes competed at the Irish Life Health Micro Meet – find out who made the European Indoor Team here! It will be a big Irish team with strong performances expected from the Irish.

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