The Woodie’s DIY Athletics Ireland Open Indoor Games took place in the new Athlone IT indoor arena on Sunday. The event witnessed over 300 athletes competing, with a number of standout performances.
Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers AC) stormed to victory in the men’s 400m in a new personal best time of 46.08. Gregan was the quickest from the blocks and hit the bell in a time of 21.9, from there the Clonliffe Harrier continued to build on his lead and sealed victory with a strong last 50m. The time was a new Irish indoor all comers record, beating the old record of 46.19. Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) was also having a very strong run and placed second in a time of 47.46.
The men’s 3000m proved to be an all Spanish affair with Juan Higuero taking the victory in 7.52.14, his time was also an Irish indoors all comers record. He was followed across the line by teammates Casado Arteuro (7.53.08) and Roberto Alaiz in third 7.53.99. Best of the Irish athletes was John Travers (Donore Harriers AC) who placed fifth in a personal best of 8.02.58.
The men’s 1500m saw one of the best performances of the day when young Mathew McLaughlin (Great Britain) stormed to victory in a new British Junior Record of 3.42.87. Ireland’s Darren McBrearty was the best placed of the Irish, in third position in a time of 3.45.38.
Kelly Proper (Ferrybank AC) produced a classy double in the 60m and the long jump. Proper recorded a time of 7.55 to marginally defeat club mate Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank AC) who placed second in a time of 7.57. Proper returned to the long jump later in the programme to secure victory with a jump of 6.04m,while Whelan matched her compatriot and took victory in the 200m in a time of 24.43
The men’s 60m saw another overseas visitor claim victory as Max Kessler of Germany took the win with a time of 6.81. Irelands David Hynes (Menapians AC) was close in second in a time of 6.91 with another German athlete Eric Franke rounding out the top three with a time of 6.92. Kessler and Hynes renewed battle in the men’s 200m with Kessler taking the double in a time of 21.30 ahead of Hynes in second in a time of 21.84.
Olympic fourth place athlete Rob Heffernan (Togher AC) lapped almost the entire field to win the men’s 3,000m walk. Heffernan scorched the bends to record a time of 11.13.92, missing his own national record of 11.10.02 by the smallest of margins. Alex Wright (England) placed second in a time of 11.23.99 with Luke Hickey in third place in 12.34.16.