Big team announced for European Athletics Championships
Big team announced for Europeans
Athletics Ireland are delighted to announce a squad of over 50 athletes including a full set of relay teams for the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam on July 6-10.
Thomas Barr (Ferrybank), Ciara Mageean (UCD) and Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole) are three of the leading names in the large Irish contingent but it may be in the half marathon team race where the main medal chances lie.
Barr has just returned from injury and made his season debut at the GloHealth National Senior Track and Field Championships on the weekend where he triumphed in 50.28 seconds. He will be using the European Championships as another stepping stone to get back into full fitness.
“I improved a lot over the weekend and I need to races to get back to my best,” said Barr who made the semi-final at the Europeans in Zurich in 2014. “I’ll be looking to step up another level at the Europeans.”
Two-time European Cross Country champion Fionnuala McCormack has been training at altitude in Font Romeu and finished 8th at the last Europeans. She will be aiming to place higher this time around having finished an agonising fourth in 2012.
European 800m bronze medallist Mark English (UCD) has decided not to compete at the championships having just returned from injury. He won his fourth 800m national title on the weekend and will gear his training towards the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Ciara Mageean will compete over 1500m and is looking forward to having an impact at the championships. “I’m really looking forward to going to the Europeans and getting in the mix,” said Mageean who won a world junior silver medal in 2010.
Full relay teams
A full quota of relay teams will be sent to the European Championships which High Performance Director Kevin Ankrom is particularly pleased about.
“It’s the first time in our history to have full relay teams at the championships and we’ve been working hard to develop a relay culture,” said Ankrom.
The men’s 4x400m relay team includes two-time European indoor 400m champion David Gillick (DSD) who finished third at the national championships in a pulsating race where six men ran 46 seconds. Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) won that race and he will be aiming to at least match his semi-final performance at the last Europeans. The men’s 4x400m finished an excellent 5th at the Europeans in 2014.
The men’s half marathon team will be spearheaded by Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) who finished 14th at the World Half Marathon Championships in 62:46. If he can match that type of performance he would lead a strong Irish challenge for team medals which also includes Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock) and Kevin Seaward (St Malachy’s).
The team sees an excellent blend of developing athletes such as Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (DSD)in the 800m and Marcus Lawler (SLOT) in the 200m alongside the return of experienced campaigners such as Mary Cullen (North Sligo) in the 5,000m who won a European indoor bronze medal over 3,000m in 2009.
High Performance view – Kevin Ankrom
“I’m very pleased that we have selected such a large squad of athletes. We’ve had some injuries with athletes pushing the boat out to reach new levels but they are now coming around. Our best chance of a medal may lie in the men’s half marathon team while we have a good blend of developing athletes and experience."
Amy Foster (City of Lisburn) 100m
Marcus Lawler (St Laurence O’Toole) 200m
Claire Mooney (Naas) 400m
Sinead Denny (DSD) 400m
Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) 400m
Craig Lynch (Shercock) 400m
David Gillick (DSD) 400m
Richard Morrissey (Crusaders) 400m
Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (DSD) 800m
Karl Griffin (UCD) 800m
Declan Murray (Clonliffe Harriers) 800m
Ciara Mageean (UCD) 1500m
Claire Tarplee (St Coca’s) 1500m
Eoin Everard (Kilkenny City Harriers) 1500m
Kevin Batt (DSD) 5,000m
Mary Cullen (North Sligo) 5,000m
Deirdre Byrne (Sli Cualann) 5,000m
Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole) 10,000m
Tara Jameson (Sli Cualann) 10,000m
Michelle Finn (Leevale) 3,000m steeplechase
Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle) 3,000m steeplechase
Sara Treacy (Dunboyne) 3,000m steeplechase
Tomas Cotter (Dunleer) 3,000m steeplechase
Ben Reynolds (North Down) 110m Hurdles
Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim) 400m Hurdles
Paul Byrne (St Abban’s) 400m Hurdles
Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) 400m Hurdles
Barry Pender (St Abban’s) High Jump
Tori Pena (Finn Valley) Pole Vault
Women’s 4x100m relay: Catherine McManus (DCH), Joan Healy (Bandon), Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank), Phil Healy (Bandon), Sarah Murray (Fingallians)
Men’s 4x100m relay: Craig Lynch (Shercock), Eanna Madden (Carrick on Shannon), Jason Smyth (City of Derry), Jonathan Browning (Ballymena & Antrim), Joseph Owejumi (Tallaght), Marcus Lawler (SLOT)
Women’s 4x400m relay: Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim), Ciara McCallion (Clonliffe Harriers), Claire Mooney (Naas), Jenna Bromell (Emerald), Phil Healy (Bandon), Sinead Denny (DSD)
Men’s 4x400m relay: Thomas Barr (Ferrybank), Andrew Mellon (North Down, Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers), Craig Lynch (Shercock), David Gillick (DSD), Richard Morrissey (Crusaders)
Women’s Half Marathon: Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers), Gladys Ganiel (North Belfast Harriers, Maria McCambridge (Dundrum South Dublin), Claire McCarthy (Leevale)
Men’s Half Marathon: Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers), Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock), Mark Hanrahan (Leevale), Gary Murray (Clonliffe Harriers), Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders), Kevin Seaward (St Malachys)