The Irish continued their good form this afternoon in Gothenburg courtesy of the two relay teams and Mary Cullen in the 5000m.
First up was the men’s 4×400m relay who lined up against Britain and Russia in their attempts to qualify. Paul Mckee led the team off to a great start and passed the baton on to Brian Doyle. David Gillick ran a superb third leg bringing the team back into contention and David McCarthy anchored the team home in fourth place in a time of 3:04.59. The Irish will line up tomorrow evening as 7th fastest and will face 8 other teams vying for a medal position after Spain and the Ukraine ran the same time to qualify for the second fastest loser spot.
Next up was the turn of the women’s 4×100m relay team. With the relay squad having been hit by injury earlier in the week with both Emily Maher and Ciara Sheehy suffering injuries in the qualification rounds of the individual events, Derval O’Rourke, Joanne Cuddihy, Ailis McSweeney and Anna Boyle lined up in an attempt to qualify for the final tomorrow evening. Derval got the team off to a great start and the other girls built on this with Anna Boyle crossing the line after 44.38 seconds setting a new National Record. While there was obvious disappointment that they did not qualify for the final, this was a fantastic achievement none the less.
Rounding off the evenings action was the women’s 5000m. Mary Cullen and Marie Davenport (who had already competed in the women’s 10000m this week) lined out for the Irish. Marie Davenport got off to a great start but was clearly suffering in the latter stages of the race and dropped out with 2 laps to go. Mary Cullen meanwhile had much better success finishing 12th in a PB time of 15:25.8. Before coming in to this race Mary had a PB of 15:51:43 which she set earlier in the year so this represents a massive improvement for her with almost 16 seconds of a difference. Marta Dominguez went on to win the 5000m breaking Sonia O’Sullivan’s eight year old championship record in a time of 14:56.18.
We look forward to similar success tomorrow with Alistair Cragg leading off the Irish in the 5000m on the final day of the championships at 3:40pm which will be followed by the men’s 4×400m team in the final at 4:10pm.
Photos courtesy of Tim O’Dowd of irishrunner.com