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Fitzsimons and Cotter make their mark

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Fitzsimons and Cotter make their mark

John Fitzsimons (Kildare) and Stephanie Cotter (West Muskerry) navigated the rain and the competition to make respective 800m and 1500m finals at the European U23 Athletics Championships in Gavle, Sweden (July 12).

Fitzsimons produced a classy performance to finish second in his semi-final in 1:49.64. The Kildare man had the finishing speed in the last 100m to qualify. Sweden’s pre-race favourite, Andreas Kramer, faltered finishing 6th in 1:50.17 and didn’t make the final.

The women’s 1500m heats were tactical affairs with Roisin Flanagan (Carmen Runners) finishing 8th in heat 1 of the 1500m in 4:36.36. This opened the door for Stephanie Cotter who ran a tough race in heat 2. Cotter also finished 8th but with the knowledge of a slower previous heat and a time of 4:25.74 she was through to the final.   

There were delays throughout the morning with wet and cold conditions – in particular the hammer where the cage was broken in Group A. This meant Owen Russell (St Andrew’s) was delayed getting into the circle by well over an hour. He produced a best of 63.39m.

Michaela Walsh (Swinford) had a best of 14.16m in the shot put.

Evening session (Irish time)

15:00  women’s 100m hurdles semi-finals – Sarah Quinn (St Colman’s South Mayo), Molly Scott (SLOT), Kate Doherty (DSD)

15:20 women’s 400m heats – Sophie Becker (St Joseph’s), Sharlene Mawdsley (Newport)

16:21 men’s 3,000m steeplechase qualifying – Brian Fay (Raheny Shamrock), Paul O’Donnell (DSD)

16:46 women’s 100m final – Ciara Neville (Emerald), Molly Scott (SLOT)

17:30 women’s discus final – Niamh Fogarty (Raheny Shamrock)

17:35 women’s 100m hurdles final

17:55 men’s 200m heats – Mark Smyth (Raheny Shamrock)

18:52 women’s 10,000m final – Siobhra O’Flaherty (SLOT), Claire Fagan (Mullingar Harriers)

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