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Irish team set for World Championships


London's Calling

The Irish team are all set to compete in what promises to be exciting IAAF World Championships in London (August 4-13). 

Action gets underway tomorrow with Ciara Mageean (UCD) starting Irish interest in a highly-competitive women’s 1500m. 11 Irish athletes will compete with Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) having to unfortunately withdraw due to injury.  

This essentially begins the next Olympic cycle after a successful Games in Rio last summer where Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) was the standout performer with a fourth place finish in the 400m hurdles. The Waterford star returns once more and will look to put aside a slightly hampered build-up.

The race walkers have flown the flag with distinction for well over a decade and Robert Heffernan (Togher) has been the flag bearer with many memorable performances. This could be his swansong event in an Irish vest and he would dearly love to sign out with a podium finish.

Experience will also be key for this Irish team – none more so than Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (DSD) who achieved selection on the IAAF quota system. This will be the 22-year-old’s first global championships in what will hopefully be a long career.

Interestingly this will also be Ciara Mageean’s (UCD) first world championships while Mark English (UCD) competes in what will be his third.

Full athlete biographies and event previews are below along with the Irish timetable.


Ciara Mageean

Club: UCD

Event: 1500m

Personal Best: 4:01.46

Coach: Jerry Kiernan

Event preview HERE and heat draw HERE

Ciara Mageean announced herself as a hot prospect for the future when she won a silver medal over 1500m at the World Junior Athletics Championships in Moncton, Canada in 2010. The UCD physiotherapy graduate has shown flashes of brilliance since winning bronze at the European outdoors in Amsterdam last summer. This is her first world championships.

Brian Gregan

Club: Clonliffe Harriers

Event: 400m

Personal Best: 45.26

Coach: John Shields

Event preview HERE 

Brian Gregan is an experienced campaigner and goes into his second world championships on a big win streak and a new personal best of 45.26. He’ll be aiming to run a new personal best in London.

Thomas Barr

Club: Ferrybank

Event: 400m Hurdles

Personal Best: 47.97

Coach: Hayley and Drew Harrison

Event preview HERE 

Thomas Barr is no stranger to interrupted preparation for a major championship and this year isn’t any different to his magnificent fourth place finish at the Olympics in Rio. Barr has overcome some niggling injuries and will hope to cause another surprise in London.

Mark English

Club: UCD

Event: 800m

Personal Best: 1:44.84

Coach: Steve Magness

Event preview HERE 

Mark English competes in his third world championships and will be hoping to at least match his semi-final berth in Beijing in 2015. The UCD athlete signed off his preparations winning the national title.

Claire McCarthy

Club: Leevale

Event: Marathon

Personal Best: 2:38:00

Coach: Donie Walsh

Event preview HERE 

This will be Claire McCarthy’s first global championships and the mother of four will be hoping to come close to her best of 2:38:00.

Sean Hehir

Club: Rathfarnham WSAF

Event: Marathon

Personal best: 2:16:18

Coach: Dick Hooper

Event preview HERE 

Sean Hehir ran a personal best of 2:16:18 in London in April to qualify for the championships so the streets will be no stranger to the primary school teacher. He will bid for another strong showing.

Mick Clohisey

Club: Raheny Shamrock

Event: Marathon

Personal Best: 2:15:11

Coach: Dick Hooper

Event preview HERE

Mick Clohisey has been one of Ireland’s leading road runners the past number of seasons and he will hope to put in a performance to reflect his ability.

Siofra Cleirigh Buttner

Club: DSD

Event: 800m

Personal Best: 2:01.98

Coach: Gina Procaccio

Event preview HERE

This will be Siofra Cleirigh Buttner’s first global championships where experience will be key to her development. The DSD athlete garnered selection on the IAAF roll-down quota system and she will maximise the experience.

Alex Wright

Club: Leevale

Event: 20km Race Walk

Personal Best: 1:21:17

Coach: Pacquillo Fernandez

Alex Wright has been in excellent form this season and he will be looking to mint that with a good showing in London to round out a brilliant 2017.

Event preview HERE 

Brendan Boyce

Club: Finn Valley

Event: 50km Race Walk

Personal Best: 3:48:55

Coach: Robert Heffernan

Event preview HERE 

Brendan Boyce was 19th in Rio last year and will be aspiring for another top 20 performance. He narrowly missed out on individual bronze at the European Cup in May but it underlined his good form.

Robert Heffernan

Club: Togher

Event: 50km Race Walk

Personal Best:

Coach: Self

Event Preview HERE 

Robert Heffernan has done it all winning major medals at every championship. No one will forget his magnificent gold in Moscow and he will be looking to out in style in London in what looks like being his swansong in an Irish vest.

Irish Timetable

IAAF World Championships, London 2017

Day 1 August 4 Friday

19:35     19:35     W            1500 Metres       Heats – Ciara Mageean (UCD)

Day 2 August 5 Saturday

10:45     M            400 Metres         Heats – Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers)

12:45     M            800 Metres         Heats – Mark English (UCD)

19:35     W            1500 Metres       Semi-Final – Ciara Mageean (UCD)

Day 3 August 6 Sunday

10:55     M            Marathon            Final – Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock), Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham WSAF)

11:05     M            400 Metres Hurdles        Heats – Thomas Barr (Ferrybank)

14:00     W            Marathon            Final – Claire Gibbons McCarthy (Leevale)

19:40     M            400 Metres         Semi-Final – Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers)

21:15     M            800 Metres         Semi-Final – Mark English (UCD)

Day 4 August 7 Monday

20:20     M            400 Metres Hurdles        Semi-Final – Thomas Barr (Ferrybank)

21:50     W            1500 Metres       Final – Ciara Mageean (UCD)

Day 5 August 8 Tuesday 

M            800 Metres         Final – Mark English (UCD)

M            400 Metres         Final – Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers)

Day 6 August 9 Wednesday

21:30     M            400 Metres Hurdles        Final – Thomas Barr (Ferrybank)

Day 7 August 10 Thursday

19:25     W            800 Metres         Heats - Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner (DSD)

Day 8 August 11 Friday

19:35     W            800 Metres         Semi-Final - Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner (DSD)

Day 10 August 12 Sunday

07:45     M            50 Kilometres Race Walk               Final – Robert Heffernan (Togher), Brendan Boyce (Finn Valley)

14:20     M            20 Kilometres Race Walk               Final – Alex Wright (Leevale)

20:10     W            800 Metres         Final – Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner (DSD)

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