Olatunde and English amongst the winners on another busy weekend for the Irish
It was another busy weekend for Irish athletes on the circuit across Europe last weekend as preparations for the upcoming Irish Life Health National Senior Track and Field Championships, as well as the World Championships and European Championships continue at pace.
Tokyo 2020 Olympian Phil Healy (Bandon AC) made a steady start to her season at the Diamond League meeting in Rabat recently but was looking to improve in Switzerland on Saturday when she competed at the Athletica Geneve meet. Healy, who has a PB of 51.50s from just over a year ago looked like she is coming into nice form at a crucial time in the season. She crossed the line in sixth place running a new Season’s Best of 51.82s. Rhasidat Adeleke is the only Irish woman to run quicker so far this season.
Israel Olatunde (UCD AC) appears to be a man on a mission this season. The twenty-year-old from Dundalk recently broke the Irish U23 100m record when he clocked a time of 10.27s at a meet in Austria. That time moved Olatunde to 3rd on the Irish All-Time list with only Paul Hession and Jason Smyth ever having run faster. Olatunde also travelled to Switzerland and will be extremely encouraged with his 10.19s (+2.4m/s) clocking to take victory.
Ireland also had teams in the Women’s and Men’s 4x100m relays. The Women’s team comprised of Joan Healy, Lucy May Sleeman, Lauren Roy, and Sarah Leahy. They finished seventh in 44.58s and improved their rankings in the quest to qualify for Munich.
The Men’s team of Olatunde, Colin Doyle, Marcus Lawler, and Joseph Ojewumi were sixth in a time of 39.49s.
Meanwhile, Andrew Coscoran (Star of the Sea AC) and Hiko Tonosa (Dundrum South Dublin AC) were in action at the Folksam Grand Prix event in Sweden.
Coscoran, who represented Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics, had yet another solid outing on the circuit finishing second in his 1500m race. He ran a time of 3.38.04, outside his Season’s Best of 3.36.54 set in Hengelo on Bank Holiday Monday.
Tonosa ran in the 5000m also claiming second spot. The 2021 National Senior Cross Country champion clocked 13.42.74.
Woodside Stadium in Watford was the venue for the British Milers Club Grand Prix meet on Saturday. Irish athletes travelled in their numbers for the popular event.
Tokyo 2020 Olympian Mark English (Finn Valley AC) timed his move to perfection to beat Kyle Langford (Great Britain) and claim victory in the Men’s 800m race. The Donegal man looked strong as he stopped the clock at 1.46.42, a new Season’s Best.
An Irish athlete also took victory in the Women’s 800m A race. Like English, Jenna Bromell (Emerald AC) made her decisive move at just the right time to win in a time of 2.03.82.
In the 1500m A races, Shane Bracken (Swinford AC) finished fourth in the Men’s race running 3.40.81, while Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC) was seventh in the Women’s race clocking 4.18.02.
Nick Griggs (Mid Ulster AC) was an impressive winner of the 1500 Men’s B race running solo for the final two laps. Griggs winning time was a new PB of 3.42.72. Carla Sweeney (Rathfarnham) was second in the Women’s B race in an impressive time of 4.17.57.
It looks set to be another busy week for Irish athletes on the circuit with the likes of Phil Healy, Sophie Becker, Darragh McElhinney, Chris O’Donnell, Louise Shanahan, and Luke McCann, all in action across Europe.