Silver for Kenny at European Athletics U23 Championships


David Kenny (Farranmore Maine Valley AC) secured Ireland’s first ever race walk medal at the European U23 Championships in Tallinn this afternoon (July 9th).

The Olympic bound athlete looked ultra-impressive as he secured the second-place finish in the Men’s 20k Walk, finishing in a time of 1.25.50 behind eventual winner José Manuel Perez of Spain in 1:25:06.

The Robert Heffernan trained athlete sat comfortably on the shoulder of the leader in second place at the 10k mark and maintained his position to claim the historic silver medal for Ireland.  

This superb silver is Ireland’s 9th medal at these championships since it was started in 1997. The 2019 edition of the championships saw Olympic duo Eilish Flanagan winning silver in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase and Nadia Power bagging a brilliant bronze in the 800m.

Kenny has been in flying form this season and will now quickly turn his attention to competing at his first Olympic Games in Tokyo.

There were several other athletes in action on a busy day for the Irish. Aoife O’Cuill (St, Cocas’s AC) and Orla O’Connor (Waterford AC) were also in finals action today (10,000m). O’Connor finished in 12th place in a time of 34:57.28, while O’Cuill was back in 22nd in 35:50.43.

Stephanie Cotter (West Muskerry AC) ran a superb 1500m semi-final to book her place in Sunday’s final. The West Muskerry athlete crossed the line comfortably in third to qualify automatically with a time of 4:15.88.

Ellen McCartney (City of Lisburn AC) was first of the Irish in action on day 2 of the championships, bowing out with a best of 4.05m in the Women’s Pole Vault which saw her finish 14th overall despite being ranked 22nd out of the 24 going into the competition.

The Men’s 800m athletes were also in action in the heats today. Kevin McGrath (Bohermeen AC) finished in 5th position in 1:48.68 which unfortunately was not enough to progress to the final. Louis O’Loughlin (Donore Harriers) went in heat 2 but unfortunately his 4th place (1.49.43) finish would not be enough to see him through, while Mark Milner (UCD AC) was 9th in heat 3 in 1:52.69.

Finley Daly (Sligo AC) was 8th in his 3,000m SC heat in a time of 9:09.58 which was just shy of progressing to the final.

Medal propect Kate O’Connor unfortunately had to withdraw from the Women’s Heptathlon due to an ankle injury picked up in the High Jump on Day 1. It was decided the best course of action was to avoid further and more serious injury.

Full Results:Click HERE

Irish attention will be on Ruby Millet (St Abban’s AC) in the Long Jump first thing on Saturday morning (7.45am).

Darragh McElhinney (UCD AC) and Michael Power (West Waterford) go in the Men’s 5,000m set for 6pm. McElhinney is no stranger to success at European level having secured a bronze medal for Ireland in the 5,000m at the 2019 European U20 Championships in Boras, Sweden.

Championship Preview: Click HERE

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