IRISH ATHLETES SET TO HEAD TO MUNICH EN MASSE
An exciting Irish team of over 35 athletes have begun to depart for the European Athletics Championships which take in Munich from August 15th – 21st.
The European Athletics Championships will see 1540 athletes from 47 nations battle it out in 50 medal events over the 7-day schedule, with a strong Irish representation on each day.
Previous European championship medal winners Thomas Barr (400mH), Ciara Mageean (800m/1500m), and Mark English (800m) will spearhead the Irish contingent.
Mageean will arrive in Munich buoyed by arguably the race of her career last week in claiming a 1500m silver medal at the Commonwealth Games (Aug 7th). The City of Lisburn athlete will renew rivalry with Scotland’s Laura Muir this week in the 1500m, while also having eyes on competing in a stacked women’s 800m which includes world and Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson (GBR).
Barr will look to channel memories of his ‘Wunderbarr’ performance in 2018 which saw him claim a European bronze medal on German soil. The Ferrybank star has banked a valuable block of training since the World Championships in Oregon last month and will fear no one should he make it to yet another major final. Norway’s 400m hurdling supremo Kartson Warlhom is sure to be sharper too following his Oregon exploits and will be the favourite to claim gold.
Mark English comes into this week ranked 8th in the men’s 800m and will have sights firmly set on taking to the start line in the medal decider. English has looked at his brilliant best this season and his recent top 10 finish at the World Championships will see him take to Munich full of confidence come the heats on Thursday morning.
Several other Irish athletes will be looking to make it to medal deciders this week including Rhasidat Adeleke in the 400m (ranked 4th), Chris O’Donnell 400m (ranked 5th), Sarah Healy 1500m (ranked 5th), Louise Shanahan 800m (ranked 8th), and world indoor finalist Sarah Lavin 100mH (ranked 9th).
Phil Healy has targeted these championships and will look to progress through the 400m heats on day 1 alongside teammates Rhasidat Adeleke and Sharlene Mawdsley, with Sophie Becker now set to focus attentions on the 4x400m relay. The quartet will form part of a strong looking women’s 4x400m team which also includes Cliodhna Manning, and Roisin Harrison (heats on Friday 19th).
This year’s European team also includes an excellent blend of developing athletes including recent Commonwealth Games silver medallist Kate O'Connor (Dundalk St. Gerards AC) who will have another busy week in the women’s heptathlon which gets underway with the 100mH on Wednesday morning.
DAY 1 DEBUTS (MONDAY AUG 15TH)
Four-time Olympian Fionnuala McCormack heads up a strong women’s marathon team (ranked 4th) which includes Aoife Cooke and Ann Marie McGlynn. The trio will take to the start line in Munich from 9.30am on Monday (15th). McCormack is no stranger to success on the European stage and will be right in contention with the leaders as the race heats up coming into the final few kilometres. McCormack’s PB of 2:23:58 from 2021 would rank 2nd fastest among the entries.
Hugh Armstrong will go in the men’s marathon from 10.30am and comes into the race ranked 30th on a season’s best of 2.14.04.
The first of team Ireland in action on day one will be Irish record holder Eric Favors in the shot put qualifying round (9.00am).
Favors regained top spot on the Irish all-time list in recent weeks with a record shattering throw of 20.42m to continue a remarkable season for the Raheny athlete which has seen him break the 20m milestone on several occasions.
Irish sprint star Israel Olatunde will make his European outdoor debut (senior) in the heats of the 100m from 9.40am. Olatunde has continued to impress this season, taking his PB down to 10.24 which is now just .06 off the Irish 100m record.
Sligo’s Olympic and World relay finalist Chris O’Donnell will lead out the Irish team for the afternoon session on day 1. O’Donnell posted a PB of 45.26 in June which ranks him 5th going into Monday’s tricky heats, but he will have sights firmly set on booking his place in Tuesday’s semi-final.
Rounding out day 1 for team Ireland will be recent 1000m record breaker Luke McCann who will be joined in the heats of the 1500m by Tokyo Olympian Andrew Coscoran from 7.15pm. Both athletes will be aiming to make the final which will include Norwegian star Jakob Ingebrigsten.
A preview and report for each day of the European Athletics Championships will follow.
Irish Athlete Schedule (times listed in Irish time):
9.00am Shot Put Qualification: Eric Favors
9.30am Women’s Marathon: Fionnuala McCormack, Aoife Cooke, Ann Marie McGlynn
9.40am Men’s 100m Heats: Israel Olatunde
10.30am Men’s Marathon: Hugh Armstrong
6.00pm Men’s 400m Heats: Chris O’Donnell (Top 12 ranking - advances to SF)
6.35pm Women’s 400m Heats: Rhasidat Adeleke (Top 12 ranking - advances to SF), Sharlene Mawdsley, Phil Healy
7.15pm Men’s 1500m Heats: Luke McCann, Andrew Coscoran
9.15am Women’s 1500m Heats: Ciara Mageean, Sarah Healy
11.25am Men's 400m SF: Chris O'Donnell
1.00pm WOmen's 400m SF: Rhasidat Adeleke
8.08pm Men’s 5000m Final: Darragh McElhinney, Brian Fay
9.30am Women’s Hep 100mH: Kate O’Connor
10.05am Men’s 400mH Heats: Thomas Barr
10.35am Women’s Hep High Jump: Kate O’Connor
6.54pm Women’s Hep Shot Put: Kate O’Connor
8.10pm Women’s Hep 200m: Kate O’Connor
8.20am Women’s 3,000m SC Heats: Eilish Flanagan, Michelle Finn
8.25am Women’s Hep Long Jump: Kate O’Connor
9.10am Men’s 800m Heats: Mark English, John Fitzsimons
9.45am Women’s 800m Heats: Louise Shanahan, Ciara Mageean
10.36am or 12.48pm: Women’s Hep Javelin: Kate O’Connor
11.30am Men’s 200m Heats: Marcus Lawler
8.25pm Women’s 5000m Final: Roisin Flanagan
8.55pm: Women’s Hep 800m Final: Kate O’Connor
9.00am Men’s 4 x 100m Heats: Marcus Lawler, Israel Olatunde, Leon Reid, Joseph Ojewumi, Mark Smyth, Colin Doyle
10.40am Women’s 4 x 400m Heats: Rhasidat Adeleke, Sophie Becker, Phil Healy, Sharlene Mawdsley, Roisin Harrison, Cliodhna Manning
7.43pm Women’s 100mH Heats: Sarah Lavin
6.10pm Women's 100mH SF: Sarah Lavin
7.00pm Men’s 10,000m Final: Hiko Haso. Efrem Gidey
- David Kenny has withdrawn from 20k Walk due to injury
- Alex Wright has withdrawn from the 35k Walk due to illness