NATIONAL INDOOR CHAMPIONSHIPS SET FOR RECORD BREAKING WEEKEND
It promises to be a stellar weekend of athletics action at the 2022 Irish Life Health National Senior Indoor Championships, with a host of stars set to return to national championship action (Feb 26th & 27th).
The Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena is set to welcome over 500 athletes who will battle it out for national titles, while a select few will also be eying national and championship records.
Olympian Phil Healy (Bandon AC) was joined by World Relay finalist Kate Doherty (DSD AC), and the record-breaking trio of Israel Olatunde (UCD AC), Darragh McElhinney (UCD AC) and Conor Callinan (Leevale AC) to officially launch this weekend’s eagerly awaited championships.
Both Olympian Healy and European silver medallist McElhinney will be setting their sights on national glory this weekend and to build on their early season form ahead of the World Indoor Championships on March 18th in Belgrade.
Healy will be taking to the 400m start line just weeks after setting her new PB of 51.74 at the Sport Ireland venue, edging ever closer to the Irish record of 51.58 (Karen Shinkins).
McElhinney has also been on fire in recent weeks, setting a new Irish U23 record at the Metz Meeting in France in a personal best time of 7:47.91 for 3000m.
Israel Olatunde has had a firecracker start to his 2022 season breaking the National 60m Record, not once but twice, most recently at the TUS International Arena in January in a time of 6.64. The UCD athlete will have his eyes on achieving a World Indoor Championships qualification.
World relay finalist, Kate Doherty of DSD AC has built a strong form in the 60m Hurdles ahead of this weekend’s championship. Doherty represented Ireland at the European Athletics DNA Competition setting a new PB of 8.25, followed up with a string of performances on the European stage such as BoXX United Manchester World Tour and Metz Meeting in France.
Rising star Conor Callinan (Leevale AC) will be taking to the pole vault this weekend, having set an impressive junior record of 4.75m in January, the 17-year-old is one to watch in these championships.
On the Startlist
After an incredible performance at both the Millrose Games and New Balance Indoor Grand prix in New York, Olympian Andrew Coscoran (Star of the Sea AC) will be taking his place in the 1500m along side Irish 1000m record holder Luke McCann (UCD AC).
U23 1500m record breaker, Sarah Healy (UCD AC) will be back in the 1500m looking to go even faster than her time of 4:06.94 which she set at the World Indoor Tour Muller Grand Prix in Birmingham last week.
The 3000m is filled with our European Cross Country Championships stars such as Darragh McElhinney (UCD AC), Keelan Kilrehill (Moy Valley AC), Jamie Battle (Mullingar AC), while double Olympian Michelle Finn (Leevale AC) continues here busy start to the 2022 season in the women's 3000m.
Nick Griggs is entered in the 3000m and the 1500m. Griggs (Mid Ulster AC) set a new Junior 1500m record only 10 days ago of 3:43.71 at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena.
The women’s 800m is looking to be a hotly contested race with Olympians Nadia Power (Dublin City Harriers AC), Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (DSD AC) and Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC), all entered on the back of impressive early season form.
In the men’s 800m, all eyes will be on Olympian Mark English (Finn Valley AC). English is sure to be testest for the lead come those final laps with Roland Surlis (Annalee AC) to name but one showing impressive form in recent weeks.
Olympians Marcus Lawler (Clonliffe Harriers AC), Cillín Greene (Galway City Harriers), and Eanna Madden (Carrick on Shannon AC) are all set to compete in a red hot looking 400m. Lawler looked ultra-impressive over 400m in recent weeks and also holds an entry in the 200m.
Molly Scott (St. L O’Toole AC) is back on Irish soil after a string of strong European performances including her Czech Indoor Gala performance where she beat European indoor champion Ajla Del Ponte in the 60m. Scott will no doubt have eyes on recapturing that indoor 60m record.
World Relay Finalist Kate Doherty goes in the 60m hurldes where she will be joined by Olympian Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC) and Athletics Ireland’s own Lilly-Ann O’Hora (Dooneen AC).
Gerard O’Donnell (Carrick on Shannon AC) and (Matthew Behan Crusaders AC) will be back to do battle once more in the men’s 60m hurdles. Both athletes are no strangers to national championship glory, and after an impressive win by Behan at the AAI Games in early February, it will be interesting to see how the pair match up with national medals on the line.
The intensity on the track is sure to be matched by that off it, with Ruby Millet (St Abbans AC) set to continue her brilliant progress in the LJ haing set a new PB of 6.4m in early February.
Ciaran Connolly (Le Cheile AC) heads up a strong looking men's HJ competition. Connolly has been in great form and represented Ireland at European Athletics DNA competition in early February. It's likley the Kildare athlete will be called back into action as Le Cheile go hunting for more medals in the 4 x 200m.
Conor Callinan (Leevale AC) will be in Senior Championship action for only for the second time, and is sure to play a huge role in what should be a super PV competition with Rolus Olusa (Clonliffe Harriers) and Matthew Callinan Keenan (St L O’Toole AC). Olusa took the Combined Events title in January this year while Callinan Keenan has been showing his winning form at the recent National League Meets.
After technical difficulties at the Millrose Games, Eric Favors from Raheny Shamrock is back in action and will have his eyes on a new national record, after setting both a new PB and the current national record of 19.84m already this year.
It promises to be captivating weekend of athletics action.
CEO of Athletics Ireland Hamish Adams
“Athletics Ireland has had a busy start to 2022, following on from the remarkable success of the European Cross Country Championships. Our athletes have delivered some remarkable performances to date, and we hope to see more national records broken this weekend. The Irish Life Health National Senior Indoor Championships are set to stage more thrilling action in the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena. We’re delighted to have both spectators present and joining us on the live stream as we come together to support our incredible athletes.”
Head of Marketing at Irish Life Health Liz Rowen
“We’re delighted to sponsor the National Senior Indoor Championships, and we’re all really excited for this weekend’s action in Abbotstown. No doubt the atmosphere and competition will make this a wonderful event and we encourage sports fans to come along to see some of Ireland’s top athletes in action on home soil”.