Irish 800m athletes produced encouraging performances over the weekend with Mark English (UCD AC) achieving the qualifying standard for the IAAF World Championships in his first race of the outdoor season.2015 European Indoor 800m silver medallist English was competing in the FBK Games in Hengelo on Sunday, 24th of May.
English ran a time of 1.45.83 to dip inside the required standard of 1.46.00 for the World Track and Field Championships in Beijing which are scheduled to take place from the 22nd-30th of August.
The race in Hengelo was a close contest with rival and current European Indoor Champion Marcin Lewandowski of Poland taking the victory in a time of 1.45.46. Competing at the same meeting there was a below par performance by Ciaran O’Lionaird (Leevale AC) as he finished 16th in the 1500m in a time of 3.53.47.A day previous at the IFAM meeting in Belgium Ciara Everard (UCD AC) broke new ground in the two lap event. Everard recorded a new personal best of 2.01.21 to finish in second place.
The time for the UCD student moves her to number six on the Irish all-time outdoor 800m lists. It was also agonisingly close to the 2.01.00 qualifying standard for the World Championships. Another UCD student exceling in Belgium was Karl Griffin as he ran a new personal best of 1.47.39 which was just inside the qualifying time of 1.47.80 for the European U23 Championships.Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) continued his impressive start to the season with a clear cut win in the 400m hurdles in a time of 49.50 with Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC) running a seasons best of 51.16 for third place. In the 110m hurdles Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) also ran a season best when he won his heat in a time of 13.79.
Also in action at the IFAM meeting was the Irish Junior relay team (Eoin Doherty, Dean Power, Sean Lawlor and Joseph Ojewumi) who came agonisingly close to securing the qualifying time (41.20) for the European Junior championships. The quartet recorded a time of 41.40 to win the race ahead of the Dutch and Belgium junior relay teams.A trio of Irish athletes Sara Treacy (Dunboyne AC), Michelle Finn (Leevale AC) and Kerry Flaherty (Newcastle AC) competed in the 3,000m steeplechase. Finn proved the best as she placed fifth in 9.49.00 with Flaherty finishing in sixth place in 9.53.05 and Treacy seventh in 10.04.78.On the domestic front the GloHealth National Combined Event Championships took place in Templemore Stadium on the 23rd and 24th of May. After a close battle with Michael Bowler (Kilkenny City Harriers AC), Koroush Foroughi (Star of the Sea AC) won the senior men’s decathlon title with a score of 6,227 points.
Karen Dunne (Bohermeen AC) was crowned the senior women’s heptathlon champion after accumulating a score of 3,913 points. Amy McTeggart (Boyne AC) won the junior women’s title with a score of 4,039 points as Rolous Olusa (Donore Harriers AC) won the junior men’s decathlon with a score of 5,130. The Youth titles went the way of Laura Quigley (Celbridge AC) – 3,255 and Thomas Connolly (Le Cheile AC) with a score of 4,850 points