DAY 6: WOMEN’S RELAY TEAM 6TH IN EUROPE
Ireland’s 400m relay team have secured a superb 6th place in the final of the women’s 4x400m at the European Athletics Championships in Munich this evening (Aug 20th).
The team of Sophie Becker, Phil Healy, Rhasidat Adeleke, and Sharlene Mawdsley crossed the finish in a time of 3:26.63, backing up yesterday's superb national record (3.26.06) performance.
Squad members Roisin Harrison and Cliodhna Manning also played an important role in helping the team reach this milestone, and will no doubt play key roles in future championships.
The consistency of performance over the last 24 hours, coupled with the momentum this result will create for the Irish relay scene, is sure to see future successes at major championships.
This final continues an unprecedented run of major final appearances for Irish relay teams, following that of the the mixed 4x400m team at World Championships, Olympic Games, and World Relays, as well as the women’s 4x200m team who claimed a superb silver at the World Relay Championships in 2021.
This relay success is testament to the great work being done by the athletes, coaches, clubs, and volunteers across Ireland.
Tonight’s medals went the way of Netherlands (3:20.87 EL), Poland (3:21.68 SB), and Great Britain & Northern Ireland (3:21.74 SB).
Louise Shanahan concluded her 2022 European Championships with an 8th place finish in a strongly run 800m final which opened with a fifty-eight-second opening lap. It was a race that didn’t suit the fast finishing running style of Shanahan who still managed to clock a brilliant 2.01.64.
This week will give the Tokyo Olympian great confidence in knowing that she can mix it with the best in Europe. Her best time this season would have placed her in a medal position tonight, albeit a tough ask after intense qualifying rounds.
The Leevale star is sure to be setting her sights even higher come the next major championships as she continues to better her performance race-on-race.
The medals went the way of Keely Hodgkinson (GBR) 1:59.04, Rénelle Lamote (FRA) 1:59.49, and Anna Wielgosz (POL) 1:59.87.
The performance of the relay team and Louise Shanahan secured Ireland’s 9th top-8 finish of the week (including women’s marathon team & Mark English) which marks the highest ever figure achieved by an Irish team at a European Championships (6 in 1998 & 2002) with one day to go.
Michelle Finn was the final Irish in action on day 6, finishing in 14th place in the 3,000m steeplechase final (9:47.57). It was a superb achievement it to make it to the final in one of the toughest events on the track. The Leevale star gave it everything and crossed the finish within 2 seconds of her season’s best.
The medals went the way of Luiza Gega (ALB) 9:11.31 CR, Lea Meyer 9:15.35 PB (GER), and Elizabeth Bird 9:23.18 (GBR).
DAY 7: LAVIN TO MAKE 2022 CHAMPIONSHIP DEBUT
The 7th and final day of these highly successful championships will see Sarah Lavin take to the track for the first time, with the world indoor finalist set to go in the semi-finals of the 100m hurdles.
Lavin progressed to the semi-final by virtue of her top 12 ranking and the Emerald AC athlete will be eager to build on her semi-final appearance at the World Championships last month.
Lavin clocked a personal best of 12.84 in Cork earlier this season, one of five sub-13-second performances this year, which is a clear indication that she has the consistency of performance to challenge for a place in Sunday evening’s final. Lavin will go in semi-final 2 at 6.18pm.
Mark English will return for his 800m final at 6.40pm tomorrow having looked at his brilliant best in progressing through the rounds this week. English secured his place in the final with another tactically astute performance and he will fear no one when he takes to the start in a wide-open race. The Finn Valley athlete has been here before and expect to see him to use all of that championship experience as he makes a bold bid for the top three.
Also making their first appearances of the week will be the dynamic duo of Efrem Gidey and Hiko Haso in the men’s 10,000m final set for 7pm. Gidey, the European cross country bronze medallist (U20) from 2019, has battled back from an injury plagued 2021 to look sharper than ever this season. The Clonliffe Harriers star posted a 28:01.50pb on the track back in May which ranks him fifteenth of the twenty-six athletes entered.
Hiko Haso clocked a 27:53.10pb in the US earlier this season and the 2021 national 10,000m and 5,000m champion will have a top 10 placing well within his sights. Haso comes into this week ranked 8th on his season’s best.
It’s likely that the man to catch will be French star Jimmy Gressier who boasts a 27:24.51pb from earlier this summer.
DAY 7: SUNDAY 21ST
Team Ireland European Championships
(Times listed in Irish Time)
- 6.10pm Women’s 100mH SF: Sarah Lavin
- 6.40pm Men’s 800m Final: Mark English
- 7.00pm Men’s 10000m Final: Hiko Haso, Efrem Gidey
- 7.45pm Women’s 100mH Final