Cork’s Deirdre Casey did Ireland proud again this morning taking a silver medal at the European Triathlon Union (ETU) Championships, in the 30-34 Age Group, in Eilat, Israel.
Casey led from the very start and after exiting the swim with a narrow lead, worked hard on the bike to take a lead of over a minute into the run.
Despite a strong run, she was caught by Hodgson of GBR within the last kilometre, but held on to take silver convincingly.
“I’d done my research coming into the race, and I knew she (Hodgson) was from a running background. I knew I had to take it out hard in both the swim and on the bike if I was going to beat her”, Casey said following the race.
The 2011 World Age Group (25-29) Champion, Casey, who resides in Dubai has plans to be home in Ireland this summer and hopes to race a few of the Vodafone National Series later this year. Deirdre is a relative unknown on the Irish racing scene as she is based in Dubai, however recent performances show she is a real contender for future International Triathlon honours.
Casey’s silver adds to the Irish medal tally of two gold (Matt Molloy and Mark Nolan) for the Championships in Eilat.
A reminder that yesterday, another Cork man Mark Nolan struck gold in the 30-34 yrs Age Group while UK based Matt Molloy snatched gold in the 40-44 yrs Age Group in Eilat.
Nolan is no stranger to success on the international stage having won silver in the 2010 World Championships, bronze at the 2011 European Championships and gold at the 2011 European Duathlon Championships all in the 30-34 yrs Age Group.
Nolan, racing over the Olympic Distance of 1500m swim, 40km bike and 10km run had a solid swim to exit in 7th position. He then used his strong biking ability to work through the field into the lead and further extended it over the 10km run to win by some 4 minutes.
“The European Championships have been a big goal of mine for the season. I’ve been doing a lot of training at my base in Belgium and I wanted to hit top form for the European Triathlon Championships and the Elite Duathlon Championships next weekend. I’m absolutely delighted with the result though.” said Nolan
“I’d always hoped Mark could get a medal but to win in such a convincing manner is really impressive. He’s going to be hard to beat this season.” Said Triathlon Ireland Team Manager Ditch Moore.
Matt Molloy in the 40-44 yrs age group led the field from start to finish. Molloy, a superb swimmer had a convincing lead coming into T1. A smooth transition and strong bike leg saw him retain the lead throughout the 4 lap bike course.
As Team Manager Moore said “It was clear to see Matt was coming under a bit of pressure from a British competitor in 2nd place but he held on strongly over the 10km run to take a thrilling win.”
Molloy spoke afterwards about the battle for gold. “I knew he was closing in on me each lap. Coming onto my final lap I spotted Mark Nolan crossing the line to win and that just gave me the spur to refocus and dig in even more. I’m absolutely delighted to have won. The whole team is on a high.”
After some celebrations Molloy will next tackle the infamous Ironman Lanzarote on the 19th of May.