Paul Hession Blazes to 20.61 Just Misses Olympic A Standard

20 July 2004

Paul Hession put together one of the greatest ever Irish sprinting performances in Thessaloniki on Monday night to knock 2/10th's of a second off his personal best and take victory at the IAAF GPII meeting over a top class field. His winning time of 20.61 was just .02 outside the Olympic A standard, a mere .07 outside the National Record, destroyed his own Under 23 National Record, and moved him ahead of Gary Ryan to number two on the all-time Irish 200m list.

Among the scalps he took in the race were Marlon Devonish (2003 World Indoor Champion), Marcin Urbas (sub-20 second man) and Julian Golding (1998 Commonwealth Games Champion). Gary Ryan himself finished 5th in the race with 21.00 as he suffered from a quad problem in the home straight.

Karen Shinkins was just outside her best of the season and inside the Olympic B standard again as she finished second in the 400m with a time of 52.17. Freda Davoren ran a season's best 4:09.07 to finish second in the women's 1500m, while Sinead Evans (nee Delahunty) also clocked her best for 2004 with 4:11.22 in 8th place.

Rob Daly and David McCarthy were 3rd and 4th in the men's 400m, with times of 46.23 and 46.41. McCarthy's time was a season's best by over half a second and moves him to number two on the 2004 Irish rankings ahead of this coming weekend's National Championships. Gareth Turnbull was 8th in the 1500m with 3:40.41 while Olympic-bound Alistair Cragg did not finish in the same race.

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


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