O’Connor highlights European throws with record


O’Connor highlights European throws with national U20 javelin record

The Irish throwers gained valuable experience at the European Throwing Cup highlighted by Kate O’Connor’s (St Gerard’s Dundalk) national U20 javelin record of 48.95m.

It was a difficult weekend for throwers with cold conditions not very conducive to throwing alongside some early start times always making it a little more challenging.

Kate O’Connor wasn’t deterred though and possibly took inspiration from the fact that her Irish Indoor Pentathlon record was beaten on by Grace McKenzie (Belgooly AC) in the USA at the NCAA Championships. She started with some purpose with a personal best in her first throw of 48.95m and followed that up with another 48m plus performance.

This performance beat her own Irish U/20 National record. With three more years in this category, she can medal here in the future. Michaela Walsh (Swinford AC) had a best performance of 57.92m and 11th place in the U/23 hammer. She did have a couple of throws outside the sector which were hovering around the 60m line, so there will be a lot more to come.

Eoin Sheridan (North Westmeath AC) who was fresh from a personal best the previous weekend in Templemore, backed up his good form with an excellent 54.40m performance in the U23 Discus. He was only 1 metre off the podium position. Eoin has made consistent progress after a lot of hard work over the winter period and this looks like it is paying off.

Ryan McCullough (Donore Harriers AC) made his long awaited Irish debut in the men’s Hammer. Ryan who hails originally from the USA was excited to put on the green vest and competed well in his first competition of 2019. His throw of 64.97m was a few metres off his best but considering the cold weather and the lack of competitions in 2019, it was a solid performance.

Stephen Rice (Clonliffe Harriers) prepared well for the competition with a training camp in Gran Canaria and was very positive about the competition. Unfortunately his timing was a little off on the day and despite looking quite good in warm ups, he didn’t quite get it together during the competition. His performance of 67.36m was the 3rd best performance of his career.

Overall, The European Throwing Cup was a very useful competition for the Ireland team. Some very good experience was gained with multiple International championships to aim for during the summer. There were 38 countries in attendance and it was great credit to the Irish Women’s U23 team to finish in 6th place in the team event. With some small improvements overall from each athlete, they could look to a future podium place over the next couple of years, as all the team are eligible again next year.

On day 1 Michaela Walsh competed in very cold conditions and had a best of 13.60m for 12th place in the U23 Shot Put.

Niamh Fogarty (North Westmeath) with 47.30m in the U23 Discus was happy to have put in her best ever performance in a major competition. It is a very good start to the year and augers well for her preparations for the European U23 Championships later in the summer.

Report by David Sweeney (National Throws co-ordinator)

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