Record breaking Israel Olatunde shines on day 2 of Irish Life Health Elite Micro Meet
Day 2 of the Irish Life Health Elite Micro Meet followed a similar theme to day 1 with an Under-20 record smashed as Irish athletes continued to claim European Indoor Championships Standards on a day of PBs at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena.
Israel Olatunde (UCD A.C.) broke the Under-20 and Under-23 records when finishing second to Leon Reid in series 2 of the 60 meters. Olatunde’s second 60-meter run of the day saw him cross the line in a record breaking 6.73, having already broken the records an hour previously in clocking a 6.74.
The race would also see Leon Reid clock a new PB of 6.68 which sees him go second on the Irish all-time list for 60 meters indoors.
Phil Healy (Bandon A.C.) also opened her season in impressive style, clocking a personal best time of 51.99 in the Women’s 400m. Healy already had secured the European Indoor Championships Standard in 2020, but will be delighted to post the season leading time which ranks 6th fastest in Europe, and second on the Irish All-Time list in her first competitive outing of 2021.
The middle-distance division continued to show its depth and a thrilling Women’s 800m saw Georgie Hartigan’s (Dundrum South Dublin A.C.) continue her flying early season form with a personal best, and European Indoor Championship Standard performance of 2.01.48 which places her second on the second on all-time Irish Indoor 800m list.
The Men’s 1500m was also a thriller and saw Luke McCann (U.C.D. A.C.) power away to a stunning PB of 3:40.03 which sees the UCD man rank 3rd of the seven Irish athletes with the European 1500m qualifying standard (3.42.75).
Day 2 event by event summary:
The first event of the day was the Women’s 400m which saw 100m and 200m record holder Phil Healy (Bandon A.C.) open her season in impressive style, clocking a personal best time of 51.99. Healy already had secured the European Indoor Championships Standard in 2020, but will be delighted to post the season leading time which ranks 6th fastest in Europe, and second on the Irish all-time list in her first competitive outing of 2021. The race was also witness to PBs for Sophie Becker 53.20 (Raheny Shamrock A.C.) and Sharlene Mawdsley 53.56 (Newport A.C.) who both secured the European Indoor Championships Standard (53.60).
Series 2 of the Women’s 400m was a thriller with Grainne Moynihan (West Muskerry A.C) and Catherine McManus (DCH AC) battling to the line in 55.2. Nicole Walsh (Galway City Harriers AC) finished in 3rd in 58.33 on her first outing of the season.
The Men’s 400m looked like it would be a tight affair on paper, and it proved to be just that as 2020 indoor champion Cathal Crosbie (Ennis Track A.C.) and outdoor champion Christoper O’Donnell (North Sligo A.C.) battled for positions along with Cillín Greene (Galway City Harriers A.C.), and Andrew Mellon (Crusaders A.C.). Christopher O’Donnell secured first place in 47.51, with Andrew Mellon second (47.79), Cathal Crosbie third (47.98), and Cillín Greene fourth (48.06).
National Champion Shane Howard of Bandon A.C. posted a season leading jump of 7.12 in the Men’s Long Jump. Howard was the sole competitor in the men’s event but will be pleased with his season opener as he looks to build towards an outdoor season. National Long Jump Champion Saragh Buggy (St. Abbans A.C.) posted a 5.86 with her final jump of the day, but it wasn’t enough to topple the jump of Sarah McCarthy (Mid Sutton A.C.) who posted a consistent round of jumping, topped off by a best jump of 5.94. 2019 European U20 Championships silver medallist (Heptathlon) Kate O’Connor (Dundalk St. Gerards A.C.) continued her preparation for future combined events with a best jump of 5.78.
Arguably the most intriguing race of the day on Sunday looked to be the Women’s 800m which has seen a number of stunning performances over the distance in recent weeks, including the recent a new national 800m record from Nadia Power. The impressive line-up did not disappoint with four athletes claiming personal bests. Georgie Hartigan (Dundrum South Dublin A.C.) continued her flying early season form and her personal best performance of 2.01.48 places her second on the second on all-time Irish Indoor 800m list. Louise Shanahan 2.01.67 PB (Leevale A.C.) and Iseult O’Donnell 2.02.29 PB (Raheny Shamrock A.C.) completed the first three home, and all were comfortably inside the European Indoor Standard of 2.03.85. Claire Mooney was next home in 2.04.29 (Naas A.C), with Katie Kirk 2.05.37 (University of Ulster Jordanstown) and Jenna Bromell 2.05.63 PB (Emerald A.C) completing the finishers to further emphasise the depth in Women’s 800m running at present.
The Men’s 1500m saw the experienced John Travers (Donore Harriers) take to the start line beside Luke McCann (U.C.D. A.C.) and Jonny Whan (Clonliffe Harriers A.C.). Pacemaker Kevin Woods (Crusaders A.C.) lead the trio out before McCann took to the front and powered away to a stunning PB of 3:40.03 which sees the UCD man rank 3rd of the seven Irish athletes with the European 1500m qualifying standard (3.42.75). Travers, also inside the standard came home in 3:41.74, with Whan finishing 3:49.93.
The first series of the Women’s 60m was up next where Molly Scott (St. L. O'Toole A.C.) exploded out of the blocks to take first place and a European Indoor Standard in 7.36. She was followed in second place by Joan Healy (Leevale A.C.) in 7.42. Healy already holds the European Indoor Standard alongside Ciara Neville, Rhasidat Adeleke, and sister Phil Healy. Hurdler Kate Doherty (Dundrum South Dublin A.C.) was third and will be delighted with her PB of 7.49, as will Aoife Lynch (Donore Harriers) 7.55 PB. Niamh Whelan’s (Ferrybank A.C.) 7.62 along with Lauren Roy’s (City of Lisburn A.C.) 7.76 completed the first series of 60m results.
Series 2 of the Women’s 60m provided a remarkably similar result with Molly Scott (7.37) once again taking first place ahead of Joan Healy (7.42). Kate Doherty (7.52), Niamh Whelan (7.58), Aoife Lynch (7.60), and Lauren Roy (7.70) rounded off the series 2 results.
The final event of the Irish Life Health Elite Micro Meet was the Men’s 60m and Leon Reid (Menapians A.C.) built on his impressive 200m performance yesterday to come home first in a time of 6.72 in series 1. Reid had already acquired the European Indoor Standard (6.74) from last year.
Israel Olatunde (UCD A.C.) looked seriously impressive as he clocked a PB of 6.74 from the outside lane which smashed the U20 and U23 60m indoor record. 2020 National Indoor Champion Dean Adams (Ballymena & Antrim A.C) came home in third place in 6.78. Conor Morey (Leevale A.C.) 6.90, Marcus Lawler (St. L. O'Toole A.C.) 6.92.91, Mark Smyth (Raheny Shamrock A.C.) 6.92.918, and Joseph Ojewumi (Tallaght A.C.) 7.06 completed the time for series 1.
Series 2 of the Men’s 60m saw Reid and Olatunde go even faster with Reid clocking a new PB of 6.68 which sees him go second on the Irish all-time list, while Olatunde bettered his new National Record set an hour earlier by posting a 6.73.
Conor Morey was third in 6.89 followed by Marcus Lawler (6.89), Mark Smyth (6.89), and Joseph Ojewumi (7.06).
In all there was a total of one Irish senior record, four under-23 records and four junior records over the two days with 20 athletes achieving European qualifying marks in this unique elite meet which took place within rigid Covid-19 rules and guidelines.
- Full list of results from Day 1 and Day 2 available http://live.athleticsireland.ie/menu.html
- Day 1 Report : https://www.athleticsireland.ie/news/national-records-fall-at-irish-life-health-elite-micro-meet
- Irish all-time indoor standings http://www.tilastopaja.org/db/toplist.php?list=topirlallt&Ind=1
- Selection policy for the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Torun, Poland (5-7 March 2021) https://www.athleticsireland.ie/news/2021-european-athletics-indoor-championships-selection-policy-released/