Golden day for Irish in Tallinn
It was a day to remember for the Irish at the European Athletics U20 Championship in Tallinn, with Rhasidat Adeleke securing a gold medal in the 100m final in the most impressive of style.
The Tallaght AC athlete exploded from the starting blocks and powered over the finish line clear of the field in a blistering 11.35.
This gold medal performance continues the record-breaking season for Adeleke which has included breaking Phil Healy’s Irish 200m earlier in the year with a 22.96 at the Big 12 Championships in Manhattan (15.05.2021). It also adds to the European U18 200m gold Adeleke won in 2018.
It represents another milestone for Irish sprinting, with Adeleke following in the footsteps of an 18-year-old Gina Akpe-Moses who claimed gold in this event back in 2017 at the U20 Championships in Grosseto, Italy.
Adeleke who doesn’t turn 19 until the end of August was then back in action in the heats of the 200m where she comfortably secured her place in tomorrow’s semi-finals in a time of 23.20. Adeleke was .43 of a second faster than anyone else who advanced and will be back on track tomorrow at 1.40pm Irish time. Lauren McCourt (Bandon AC) also took to the blocks for the 200m heats and produced a superb run of 24.23 which was just outside her PB. Unfortunately, McCourt just missed out on advancing by two places.
Tokyo bound Robert McDonnell (Galway City Harriers) was in 200m heat action too and cruised through to tomorrow’s semi-finals with a professional victory in 21.16. McDonnell will be back for the semi-finals tomorrow at 2.00pm Irish time.
The Men’s 5000m final was a tactical race with much of the pack remaining bunched for the first 2,000m. Abdel Laadjel (Donore Harriers) and Dean Casey (Ennis Track Club) settled into midfield, while Callum Morgan (St. Malachy's AC) raced patiently to the rear. The race was blown apart by an injection of pace with 3 laps to go which saw Casey remain with the leading 6 athletes before falling back slightly as they hit the bell. Casey stuck on bravely to claim back 6th place coming into the home straight to finish in 14.40.74, while Laadjel followed soon after for 11th in 14.50.07. Morgan kept grinding it out for the last laps to cross for 21st place in Europe in 15.15.52.
Nicola Tuthill (Bandon AC) was first of the Irish in action on day 2 of these championships. Tuthill threw a 54.78m best in the Hammer for 14th place in Group A qualifying which wasn’t enough to advance. 17-year-old Tuthill landed the 54.78 on her initial attempt and then went all out to try and claim the 60m which would have made the final, only to foul on her two remaining attempts. Tuthill has been gradually increasing her PB to a new best of 61.55m this season and will be looking forward to bringing this week’s experience to future competitions in the Irish vest.
Eoin Quinn (Mullingar Harriers AC) ran a 1:54.24 800m for 5th place in his heat, but unfortunately didn’t progress. Quinn was unlucky to be in the slower of the 3 heats and will look back on his huge season which saw his PB go from 1:57.81 to 1:50.40 over the past few months.
Ava O'Connor (Tullamore Harriers AC) went in the heats of the 1500m but unfortunately did not progress, crossing the line in 4:55.84. O’Connor, who has won four All Ireland U20 titles in 800m and 1500m will be another sure to be back in the Irish vest for years to come.
Alan Miley (St L O'Toole AC) ran a great race in the Men’s 400mH heats and was unlucky to clip the last hurdle which stopped all momentum coming to the line. Miley finished in 53.86 for 5th place, just outside qualification.
Maeve O’Neill (Doheny AC) bowed out of her championship journey at the semi-final stage of the 800m. O’Neill finished in 7th place in 2:10:61 which was not enough to advance, but she will take great heart from securing a personal best time at an international championship (2.01.91pb).
Click Here for full list of results.
Alarm clocks will be set early on Saturday morning, with several athletes competing across the track and field.
Bandon AC’s Diarmuid O’Connor will start his busy two days in the Decathlon. The UCC student has been developing slowly but surely over the last few years, culminating in a huge 500-point improvement in Arona with 7,316pts. The Bandon athlete has the physical capacity to progress into a top-class international decathlete and he will not be found wanting in this event.
Mullingar Harriers due of Matthew Glennon and Oisin Lane go in the final of the Men’s 10k Walk from 8.05am.
Recent U20 national champion Casey Mulvey (Innyvale AC) will be looking to challenge her PB of 15.62 as she looks to make it to the final round of throws in the Women’s Shot Put. The young Ballyjamesduff athlete heads off to De Paul University in Chicago in August and will have a great opportunity to progress further over the coming years. Mulvey will be in action from 8.35am.
The Women’s 4 x 400m relay team of Caoimhe Cronin, Maeve O'Neill, Kate O'Connell, Lauren McCourt, and Blanaid Fogarty will go in their heats from 9.30am.
Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght AC) and Robert McDonnell (Galway City Harriers) will be back on track for their semi-finals from 1.40pm (W) and 2.00pm(M).
It’s all finals come the afternoon session which will see Cian McPhillips (Longford AC) take his place in the 1500m line-up, while duo Fionn Harrington (Bandon AC) & Nicholas Griggs (Mid-Ulster AC) will go in the 3000m final.
7.35am: Men’s Decathlon (100m Heats) - Diarmuid O'Connor Bandon AC
8.05am: Men’s 10k Walk Final - Matthew Glennon Mullingar Harriers AC & Oisin Lane Mullingar Harriers
8.35am: Women’s Shot Put – Casey Mulvey Innyvale AC
9.30am: Women’s 4 x 400m Relay Heats
1.40pm: Women’s 200m Semi-Final Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght AC)
2.00pm: Men’s 200m Semi-Final Robert McDonnell (Galway City Harriers)
2.40pm: Women’s Shot Put Final
3.55pm: Women’s 200m Final
4.05pm: Men’s 200m Final
4.35pm: Men’s 1500m Final Cian McPhillips (Longford AC)
5.05pm: Men’s 3000m Final Fionn Harrington (Bandon AC) & Nicholas Griggs (Mid-Ulster AC)