Some fine performances from Irish athletes on day one of the 8th biennial European U23 Athletics Championships in Ostrava, Czech Republic though a disappointing day for some athletes including Letterkenny AC’s Darren McBrearty who finished in 5th position in the men’s 800m heats. Team mate Anthony Lieghio (Tallaght AC) finished 3rd in his heat in a personal best 1.48.06 thus qualifying for the final.
Jessie Barr, the 22 year old Waterford athlete from Ferrybank AC, finished 2nd in her heat of the 400m hurdles and now faces a high quality field including the top two Ukrainians in Saturday’s final. The young Waterford woman qualified comfortably for the final but the Ukrainians have both beaten 57 seconds already this season so Jessie will have a ‘mountain to climb’ if she is to gain a medal. Great experience though for the future and yet another star emerging from Ferrybank. A great season for Waterford athletes what with Kate Veale’s recent Gold in Lille also.
Dooneen AC’s Timmy Crowe, with a personal best of 51.24 to finish second qualified for the semi-finals of the men’s 400m hurdles. Paul Byrne (St Abban’s AC) also claimed a place in the semi-final with a career equalling 51.90. Favourite here will be Britain’s Nathan Woodward who clocked the fastest time 50.85 in the first round, easing home at the finish .
Clonliffe’s Brian Gregan was the final Irish athlete in action on the opening day in Ostrava in the heats of the men’s 400m and the Tallaght man recorded a “best of the season” 46.32 seconds, finishing second in his heat and qualifying Saturday’s final. Another seven Irish in action on Friday inc Ferrybank’s Niamh Whelan (200m); Anthony Lieghio in final of 800 m and semi-finals for Timmy Crowe and Paul Byrne.
You can follow much of the action from Ostrava daily via the official website and twitter: @ www.european-athletics.org
Sportsnewsireland.com will have live score updates on all GAA Championship matches over the summer.