Gillick and Hession Set the Standard on Day 1 of British AAA's

12 February 2005

David Gillick and Paul Hession were the star Irish performers on Day 1 of the AAA Indoor Championships in Sheffield on Saturday with sparkling performances in the 400m and 200m respectively.


Hession won the 200m final in 21.01 secs, equalling the fastest time of his career. The Athenry medical student, who missed out on a place at the Athens Olympics last Summer by 2/100ths of a second, beat the European U23 and World University Games Champion Chris Lambert of England, with Paul Brizzel winning bronze in 21.28.


David Gillick became the fastest 400m runner in Europe for 2005, taking another huge chunk off his lifetime best to win his way to the final in 46.43 seconds. The country’s strength in depth over the distance was again in evidence with no less than four Irishmen qualifying for the semi-finals led by the prodigiously Gillick. His performance also makes him the third fastest Irishman of all time over 400m indoors.


There was less success however, for reigning champion Rob Daly, who along with Gordon Kennedy (Tullamore) and Brian Murphy (UCC) was eliminated at the semi-final stage.


Ciara Sheehy booked her place for the European Indoors in Madrid next month when she took bronze in the 200m in 23.76 the same position as Athens Olympian Maria McCambridge in the 3000m final.


Olympic 1,500m semi-finalist James Nolan led through the opening half of the 800m before narrowly missing qualification for the final in a blanket finish by .11 of a second.


Aoife Byrne is quickly making a name for herself as Sonia O’Sullivan's heir apparent in the middle distances when she led from gun to tape in the 800m,  cruising over the line in 2:08.39 to comfortably qualify for today’s final.


Rose-Anne Galligan, Newbridge AC, who turned 17 on 9th December, set a new national junior indoor record of 9:28.67 for the 3000 metres in her very first attempt at the distance. Galligan broke the 17-year-old record of 9:32.0 held by Providence College graduate Anita Philpott (North Cork AC) set on 6th February 1988 in Rhode Island, USA. Galligan topped the junior U20 800m ranking list last season with 2:08.72 and is now the first Irish junior to get the qualifying time of 9:43.00 for the 3000m European juniors in Kaunas, Lithuania in July.


Limerick's Taneisha Robinson improved her own national record for the triple jump with an impressive winning leap of 13.28m and is now only 22cm short of the Madrid qualification standard which would see her become the first Irish triple jumper to compete in a major championship since the 1928 Olympic Games.


Disclaimer - The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of the AAI


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