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Fionnuala a fighting fourth as Loughnane finally gets gold


Fionnuala a fighting fourth as Loughnane finally gets gold

Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole) finished a frustrating fourth after a brave run in the women’s 10,000m in 31:30.74 while Olive Loughnane finally got her hands on her world championships gold medal.

It was nearly a double celebration as McCormack put in a battling performance in the women’s 10,000m final to finish fourth to Turkey’s Yasemin Can formerly of Kenya in 31:12.86. It was just outside McCormack’s personal best of 31:29.22 set in 2012.

“It’s more than frustrating finishing fourth but I’m getting back to my best,” said McCormack. Tara Jameson (Sli Cualann) finished 14th in 33:19.85.

For Olive Loughnane the seven year wait was finally over as she was retrospectively rewarded the gold medal for the 20km race walk in Berlin in 2009. “There’s value in sentiment and it was great to share the moment with all the Irish fans here,” said an emotional Loughnane.     

Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) continued his comeback to full fitness with an excellent win in the first heat of the 400m Hurdles with a 50.17 second clocking. “Everything is a bonus now,” said Barr. “I’m building back to fitness and it was important to get through the first round.  

Paul Byrne (St Abban’s) finished fourth in heat 2 of the men’s 400m hurdles in 53.12.

Tomas Cotter (Dunleer) felt flat from the off in heat 1 of the men’s 3,000m steeplechase where he finished 12th in heat 1 in 9:08.82.

Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (DSD) just missed out on a place in the women’s semi-finals finishing fifth in her heat in 2:04.97.

High Performance director Kevin Ankrom reflected on a positive first day of the championships for the Irish:

“It was a great performance by Fionnuala placing fourth and just missing out on a medal. I know she’ll be gutted but her time of 31:30.74 is a great time and bodes well for her marathon preparations for Rio.

“Thomas Barr continued to show signs of improvement coming back from injury and advancing to the semi-finals with a season’s best of 50.17. Siofra narrowly missed out on the semis but she’s had a long season. This meet is exactly what I want our up-and-coming athletes to experience. It definitely makes them hungrier for more knowing they can compete with the best.”

Tomorrow’s action kicks off at 08:35 (Irish time) with Tori Pena (Finn Valle) in the pole vault. Marcus Lawler (SLOT) competes in the men’s 200m at 9:50. At 10:35 Declan Murray (Clonliffe Harriers) and Karl Griffin (UCD) compete in the heats of the men’s 800m. Amy Foster (City of Lisburn) rounds out the morning session of day 2 in the women’s 100m heats at 11:15.

In the afternoon Thomas Barr competes in the semi-finals of the men’s 400m hurdles followed by Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) in the semi-finals of the men’s 400m at 15:45. Sinead Denny (DSD) takes to the track for the women’s 400m semis at 16:35. Eoin Everard (Kilkenny City Harriers) round out the Irish action in the heats of the men’s 1500m at 17:20.  

For a report of the first session of day 1 click HERE 

For the timetable of the Irish click HERE 

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