Irish athletes book places in European Finals


Irish athletes were on fire on an exceptionally hot day 1 of the European Athletics U20 Championships in Tallinn, Estonia.

Irish record breaker Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght AC) secured her place in tomorrow’s 100m final in the most impressive of fashion. The Tallaght athlete breezed through the early morning heats, crossing the line in first place in heat 2 in a time of 11.37 before going on to finish in first place in her semi-final in 11.38 (second fastest overall). 

Adeleke looked very comfortable in both races and will head into tomorrow’s final (3.20pm Irish time) as one of the leading favourites for the title. Phil Healy’s Irish 100m record of 11.28 may also come under threat should race day conditions remain as they were today.

Israel Olatunde (UCD AC) was also in the blocks for the Men’s 100m, securing his progress through the heats with an impressive second place finish in 10.56 to progress to the afternoon’s semi-final. Olatunde exploded from the start to cross the lie in 10.51 in his semi-final which was just outside the time needed to progress to tomorrow’s final.

Cian McPhillips (Longford AC) claimed his place in the Men’s 1500m final with the most professional of performances. The Longford athlete had plenty in the tank as he crossed the line in third to take one of the automatic qualification places for Saturday’s final in 3:48.67. Sean Donoghue (Celtic DCH) went in the first to the 1500m heats and fought all the way to the line, but unfortunately his 3.51.64 was not enough to advance to the next round.

The trio of Fionn Harrington (Bandon AC), Tadhg Donnelly (Drogheda & District), and Nicholas Griggs (Mid-Ulster AC) went in the heats of the 3000m. Griggs looked ultra-smooth in claiming one of the automatic qualification places for the final on Saturday evening in 8.26.04, while he will also be joined by Harrington who secured one of the fastest qualifier places in 8.28.91. Tadhg Donnelly did not progress to the final on this occasion, but will no doubt be back in the Irish singlet for years to come.

Doheny AC’s Maeve O’Neill was another to advance on a superb day one for the Irish. O’Neill ran the race of her life and advances to the semi-finals of the 800m (Friday 2.50pm Irish time) in a PB of 2:07.91.

Conor Cusack (Lake District AC) threw a 65.56m best in the Men’s Javelin which was just half a meter outside advancing to the final. The UL student has made great progress this year and although he would have wanted to progress, he will take great encouragement from his recent national title win which sees him now ranked 5th on the Irish all-time list.

Full list of results available HERE.

Day 2 (July 16th):

National U20 Hammer champion and Senior silver medalist Nicola Tuthill has been gradually increasing her PB to a new best of 61.55m. She has moved up to the 4kg implement this year and normally this takes a bit of adjustment, but she has made the transition well and the future is very promising for the young Bandon thrower. Tuthill will be first of the Irish in action on day 2 in the Women’s Hammer (8.00am).

Ava O'Connor (Tullamore Harriers AC) and Eoin Quinn (Mullingar Harriers AC) will line up in stacked fields in both of their respective 1500m and 800m heats, while Alan Miley (St L O'Toole AC) will also be another of the early starters as he takes his place in the heats of the 400mH from 10.50am.

All eyes will be on Rhasidat Adeleke from 3.20pm as she bids for glory in the Women’s 100m final.

Team Ireland look to have another strong hand in the Men’s 5000m with Abdel Laadjel (Donore Harriers), Callum Morgan (St. Malachy's AC), and Dean Casey (Ennis Track Club) arriving here on the back of impressive national championship performances. Laadjel and Casey are currently ranked within the top 10 in Europe (U20 5,000m).

Lauren McCourt (Bandon AC) set a new 200m PB of 24.16 at the recent national senior championships and will join Irish 200m record holder Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght AC) in the heats of the 200m from 5.20pm. Adeleke set the stunning 22.96 200m Irish record in the Manhattan earlier this year.

Galway’s Olympic bound sprinter Robert McDonnell (Galway City Harriers) will conclude the Irish competing on day two as he looks to book his place in the 200m semi-finals (Heats 5.45pm). McDonnell comes into the championships buoyed by some breath-taking performances of late which included a 20.93 which ranks him 3rd coming into this weekend.

Friday 16th  Schedule:

8.00am: Women’s Hammer Qualifying A&B – Nicola Tuthill (Bandon AC)
9.20am: Women’s 1500m Heats - Ava O'Connor (Tullamore Harriers AC)
9.45am: Men’s 800m Heats - Eoin Quinn (Mullingar Harriers AC)
10.50am: Men’s 400m Hurdles Heats - Alan Miley (St L O'Toole AC)
2.50pm: Women’s 800m Semi-Final - Maeve O’Neill (Doheny AC)
3.20pm: Women’s 100m Final - Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght AC)
4.55pm: Men’s 5000m Final - Abdel Laadjel (Donore Harriers), Callum Morgan (St. Malachy's AC), Dean Casey (Ennis Track Club)
5.20pm: Women’s 200m Heats - Lauren McCourt (Bandon AC) & Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght AC)
5.45pm: Men’s 200m Heats - Robert McDonnell (Galway City Harriers)

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