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Brilliant Walsh wins bronze continuing Irish success story

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Brilliant Walsh wins bronze continuing Irish success story

Michaela Walsh (Swinford) won a brilliant bronze in the hammer with a best throw of 61.27m continuing the Irish success story at the European U20 Athletics Championships in Grosseto, Italy.

It was another busy day for the Irish with a plethora of fine performances including two sixth place finishes from Christopher O’Donnell (North Sligo) in the 400m with a new national U20 record of 46.54 seconds and Mark Smyth (Raheny Shamrock) in the 200m in a personal best of 21.36 seconds.

It was Mayo’s Michaela Walsh who stole the headlines winning bronze as she went and finished 7th in the shot put final also with a best of 15.62m.

“It’s unreal,” said Walsh. It’s a championship so it’s not about distances, it’s about placing. I’ve never been so nervous to stand into that ring. I’m so happy to bring a medal home for the field eventers and put them in the spotlight. We have so many talented field eventers in Ireland.

“I’ve been to a lot of major championships since 2013 and it’s my first medal so I’m really happy.”

Walsh was also pleased with her 7th place finish in the shot put on tired legs which was directly after the hammer: “It was my second best throw of the season. Obviously I was tired with it.”

John Fiztsimons (Kildare) had a big breakthrough with a massive personal best to qualify for the 800m final with 1:48.68. His previous best was 1:50.00 and he qualified as one of the fastest losers.

Sharlene Mawdsley (Newport) and Cillin Greene (Galway City Harriers) bowed out in the semi-finals of their respective 200m races with times of 23.98 and 21.51 respectively.

James Edgar (City of Lisburn) struggled in the searing heat in a tactical men’s 5,000m to battle to an 11th place finish in 15:39.22.

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