Team Announcement for Zurich 2014
Reigning 50k World Walks Champion Robert Heffernan will lead as the team of 30 to compete at the European Track and Field Championships in Zurich 12-17th of August. This is one of the largest teams ever to compete at the championships.
Last August the Cork man made history by becoming Ireland’s third ever World Champion when he struck gold in Moscow. At the 2010 Barcelona European Championship, a medal eluded Heffernan on two occasions with fourth placing’s in both the 20km and 50km Walk.
Heffernan said: "I am really looking forward to the huge challenge that lies ahead in Zurich and look forward to bringing more national pride to Ireland”. He will be joined by Brendan Boyce while Laura Reynolds competes in the 20k Walk.
Barr Breaking Through
21 year old Thomas Barr has had a breakthrough season smashing the Irish 400m Hurdles record running 48.90, a time which currently ranks him number three on the European rankings. The Waterford man has added to his building reputation by beating the reigning World Champion Jehue Gordon of Trinidad at the Morton Games. Barr who was a semi-finalist at the 2012 European Championships is looking to become Ireland’s first male finalist in 400m Hurdles: “I will be targeting a place in the final and then I will be looking to deliver my best performance”
English looks to impress
Mark English will make his debut European appearance with his season’s best of 1.45.03 run in the 800m at New York Diamond League meeting ranks him fourth in Europe. At the Morton Games English produced another fine performance setting a stadium record of 1.45.30 when winning the 800m in convincing style from Martin Ryan of USA. The Donegal man will be joined by Declan Murray.
Big 3 in the 1500m
Ireland will be represented in the 1500m by Ciaran O’Lionaird, Paul Robinson and John Travers. This is the first time since 1986 that Ireland has three representatives in this event.
Ciaran O’Lionaird (Leevale AC) who was a World Finalist in 2011 secured his place on the team by winning the GloHealth national championships on Sunday. While Robinson has had a series of impressive runs this year including setting a new personal best in the mile of 3.54.77 at the Oslo Diamond league on the 11th of June. John Travers 1500m split of 3:37.27 at the Morton Mile qualified him for the European Championships (3:39.30) and he followed this up with a third placing at the national championships.
Britton for 10000m & 5000m
Former double European Cross Country Champion Fionnuala Britton will contest the 5000m and 10,000m at her fourth European championships which equals the Irish record for number of appearances at the championships. Britton placed fourth in the 10,000m in the 2012 championships. Sarah Collins has made the decision not to compete in the 5000m after an intense NCAA season.
Gregan hits form
Brian Gregan who secured the needed standard in the final week of qualification with 45.94 to finish sixth in the 400m at the Gugl Meet in Austria will be looking to continue his improved run of form. He was a finalist at the 2012 Championships.
Irish Record Holder Amy Foster will be competing in the 100m alongside Phil Healy. While Kelly Proper will line up in the 200m after running 23.16 the secondest fastest time ever by an Irish women. National Junior Record Holder Sarah Lavin will line up in the women’s 100m Hurdles and Christine McMahon in the 400m Hurdles.
National champion Zoe Brown will be the sole representative in the Pole Vault with Tori Pena making the decision to withdraw as season hasn’t gone as planned.
Ireland will be represented in relays with a women’s 4x100m team and a men’s 4x400m team.
Kevin Ankrom High Performance Manager said: “These European Championships will be highly competitive with all of Europe’s best set to compete. This team has medal potential and I will be looking for our key athletes to progress through the rounds and to make finals”. He added: “For athletes like Sarah Lavin and Christine McMahon these championships will form an integral part of their performance development towards Rio 2016 and beyond"
Marathon Cup Athletics Ireland has also announced that for the first time they will be sending a team to compete in the European Marathon Cup which is run in conjunction with the European championships Marathon with the results based on the national team’s three fastest finishers. Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders AC) will lead the men’s team and Nicola Duncan (Galway City Harriers AC) will lead the women’s team. There is first Irish International caps for Marathoners Thomas Frazer, Kevin Seaward, and Barbara Sanchez National Endurance Coach Chris Jones said “It is a big step forward for us to be sending teams to compete in the men’s and women’s marathon cup competition at the European Championships. We have worked closely with the marathon mission squad to ensure that our eight athletes will be competitive in Zurich.”
|100m W||Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC)||
|100m W||Phil Healy (Bandon AC)||Shane McCormack|
|200m W||Kelly Proper (Ferrybank AC)||Brid Golden|
|400m M||Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers AC)||John Coghlan|
|400m M||Richard Morrisey (Crusaders AC)||Chris Zah|
|800m M||Mark English (UCD AC)|
|800m M||Declan Murray (Clonliffe Harriers AC)||Frank Gagliano|
|1500m M||Paul Robinson (St Coca's AC)||Robert Denmead|
|1500m M||Ciarán Ó Lionáird (Leevale AC)||Mark Rowland|
|1500m||John Travers (Donore Harriers AC)||Jerry Kiernan|
|100m H||Sarah Lavin (UCD AC)||Noelle Morrisey|
|400m H M||Jason Harvey (Crusaders AC)||Paul McKee|
|400m H M||Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC)||Hayley and Drew Harrison|
|400mH W||Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC)||Ian Neely|
|5000m/10000m||Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC)||Chris Jones|
|20k RW||Laura Reynolds (Mohill & District AC)||Collin Griffin|
|Pole Vault W||Zoe Brown (Raheny Shamrock AC)||Jim Alexander|
|Marathon||Maria McCambridge (DSD AC)|
|Marathon||Barbara Sanchez (Clonliffe Harriers AC)||Sebastien Locteau|
|Marathon||Nicola Duncan (Galway City Harriers AC)||Nick Anderson|
|Marathon||Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders)||Andy Hobdell|
|Marathon||Sean Hehir (Rathfarmhan WSAF AC)||Dick Hooper|
|Marathon||Thomas Frazer (Saint malachy's AC)||Tomy Houchin|
|Marathon||Kevin Seaward (Saint Malachy's AC)|
|50k RW||Rob Heffernan (Togher AC)||Marian Heffernan|
|50k RW||Brendan Boyce (Letterkenny AC)||Rob Heffernan|
|4x100m Relay W||Sarah Lavin (UCD AC)||Noelle Morrisey|
|4x100m Relay W||Kelly Proper (Ferrybank AC)||Brid Golden|
|4x100m Relay W||Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC)||David Reid|
|4x100m Relay W||Phil Healy (Bandon AC)||Shane McCormack|
|4x100m Relay W||Catherine McManus (DCH AC)||Brian McManus|
|4x100m Relay W||Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank AC)||Hayley and Drew Harrison|
|4x400m Relay M||Richard Morrisey (Crusaders AC)||Chris Zah|
|4x400m Relay M||Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers AC)||John Coghlan|
|4x400m Relay M||Craig Lynch (Shercock AC)||Jeremy Lyons|
|4x400m Relay M||Brian Murphy (Crusaders AC)|
|4x400m Relay M||Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC)||Hayley & Drew Harrison|
|4x400m Relay M||Mark English (UCD AC)|
|5000m W||Sarah Collins||Withdrew from selection|
|Pole Vault W||Tori Pena||Withdrew from selection|