“Ireland’s Fastest Man” Israel Olatunde Smashes Indoor 60m Record

ByEmma Porter |

Israel Olatunde (UCD AC) lit up today’s National Senior Indoor Championships with a blistering 6.57 to win gold in the 60m final on his way to breaking Paul Hession’s 2007 national indoor record of 6.61.

Olatunde, who’s time moved him to 7th in Europe in advance of next month’s European Indoor Championships, now holds both the Irish indoor 60m and outdoor 100m national records (10.17), the latter which he set in the 100m final at the European Championships last August.

Today’s result marked another huge leap forward for Irish sprinting, highlighted by all 8 finalists clocking 6.83 seconds or better.

Oliver Swinney (Speed Development Project Track A.C. 6.70) and Gabriel Kehinde (Ennis Track A.C. 6.72) followed Olatunde home to take the silver and bronze medals in a race which saw the top six athletes all set personal best times.

The women’s 60m final preceded the men’s decider and provided one of the finishes of the day with Sarah Leahy (Killarney Valley AC) claiming her first senior indoor title thanks to her 7.30PB which moved her to 4th all-time indoors. The Leevale pair of Joan Healy (7.33) and Lucy-May Sleeman (7.38) followed Leahy home, both breaking the 7.40 mark in a thrilling finish.

The women’s 400m was one of the most anticipated finals of the day. Those in attendance were treated to a superb championship performance from Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrock) who controlled the race from the front to cross in 53.11 ahead of fellow Olympian Phil Healy (53.97) and Miriam Daly (Carrick-on-Suir AC) who crossed for bronze in 54.39.

Jack Raftery (Donore Harriers) made no secret of his intentions this weekend and the Donore star delivered on his promise to take the 400m title in a championship record time of 46.37. Raftery was followed across the finish by Ciaran Carthy (Dundrum South Dublin AC) 47.49 and David Ryan (Moycarkey Coolcroo AC) 48.24.

Mark English secured his 9th national indoor title with an ultra-professional performance in the men’s 800m final as he finalises preparations for another tilt at European success in two weeks’ time. The Finn Valley athlete posted a winning time of 1.52.47 with Roland Surlis (Annalee AC) 1:53.21 and Jake Bagge (Ferrybank AC) 1:53.77 completing the podium.

The women’s 800m final was an excellect duel between Iseult O’Donnell (Raheny Shamrock A.C.) and Nadia Power (Dublin City Harriers). Power set an unrelenting pace from the gun but O’Donnell managed to stay within striking distance before unleashing a blistering final 50 to take the title right on the line in a time of 2:07.06. Power would cross in 2:07.22 with Susie Nestor picking up the bronze fro UCD in 2.08.15.

An emotional Cheryl Nolan (St Abbans AC) claimed her first national senior medal to take the women’s 3000m in 9:22.32, outkicking fellow training partner Michelle Finn (Leevale AC) to claim gold in a side-by-side finish. Niamh Kearney (Raheny Shamrock) wnet with the leading pair from the gun and would ultimately settle for bronze in 9:26:57.

The 1500m races looked open affairs on paper, and it was last year’s outdoor champion Carla Sweeney (Rathfarnham W.S.A.F. AC) who left nothing to chance as she took control of the women’s race from the opening lap to eventually cross in a winning time of 4:22.23.

The men’s race looked just as competitive and  it was 2019 champion Eoin Pierce (Clonliffe Harriers) who made the best of his way home to take top of the podium in gritty 3.54.28.

The first medals of the day were decided in the women’s long jump competition and the event set the tone for what was to become a hugely memorable championships.

The women’s long jump had promised to be one of the events of the day, and it didn’t disappoint with Elizabeth Ndudi (Dundrum South Dublin) claiming the title with her 6th and final jump of 6.28m. The 17-year old DSD star’s 6.28m best equalled Ruby Millet’s best of 6.28m (Ndudi claimed the gold by way of count back). Lauren Callaghan (Finn Valley AC) was also in contention throughout and cleared 6.07m to pick up the bronze medal.

The women’s shot put saw Michaela Walsh (Swinford AC) add to her medal collection with a personal best performance of 15.60m. Walsh finished ahead of multi event star Kate O’Connor (Dundalk St. Gerards AC) who secured her second medal of the weekend. Ciara Sheehy (Emerald AC) walked away bronze with a best throw of 13.44m.

Matthew Callinan Keenan (SLOT) and Michael Bowler (Enniscorthy AC) went toe to toe for much of the men’s pole vault competition, but it would ultimately be Callinan Keenen who would bow out at the gold medal winning height of 4.80m. Bowler had to settle for second with a best of 4.65m, with Rolus Olusa (Clonliffe Harries ) third with 4.55m.

Jai Benson (Lagan Valley) put a consistent round of jumping together in the men’s triple jump competition, clearing 14.30 on three occasions. His third jump of 14.79m proved best on the day.

Pippa Rogan (Sli Cualann AC) continued her impressive run of form in the high jump this season, posting a best of 1.79m today to claim gold in an ultra-competitive competition.

Rounding out this year’s National Senior Indoor Championships were the men’s and women’s 4x200m relays. Both finals followed this weekend’s record breaking trend with the winning men’s (Clonliffe Harriers AC – Marcus Lawler,  Pascal Sebastain Touchie, Aaron Tierney Smith, Craig Duffy 1:27.49) and women’s teams (Dundrum South Dublin AC – Molly Hourihan, Charlotte Bourke, Cara Murphy, Mollie O`Reilly 1:39.86) setting new national club records on their way to gold.

Select Results:

Women’s 3000m

1 Cheryl NOLAN SEN W St Abbans A.C.   9:22.32

2 Michelle FINN SEN W Leevale A.C. 9:22.35

3 Niamh KEARNEY SEN W Raheny Shamrock A.C. 9:26.56

Women’s 1500m

1 Carla SWEENEY             SEN W   Rathfarnham W.S.A.F. A.C. 4:22.23

2 Amy O DONOGHUE     SEN W   Dundrum South Dublin A.C. 4:25.62

3 Ellie HARTNETT             SEN W   U.C.D. A.C. 4:26.43

Men’s 1500m

1 Eoin PIERCE     SEN M   Clonliffe Harriers A.C.     3:54.28

2 Philip MARRON             SEN M   Ratoath A.C.       3:54.64

3 Kieran KELLY   SEN M   Raheny Shamrock A.C.   3:55.00

Women’s 400m

1 Sophie BECKER SEN W Raheny Shamrock A.C. 53.11

2 Phil HEALY       SEN W   Bandon A.C.                      53.97

3 Miriam DALY   SEN W   Carrick-on-Suir A.C.         54.39

Men’s 400m

1 Jack RAFTERY SEN M   Donore Harriers                              46.37     CR

2 Ciaran CARTHY SEN M Dundrum South Dublin A.C.        47.49

3 David RYAN     SEN M   Moycarkey Coolcroo A.C.             48.24

Women’s 60m

1 Sarah LEAHY   SEN W   Killarney Valley A.C.        7.30

2 Joan HEALY     SEN W   Leevale A.C.                      7.33

3 Lucy-may SLEEMAN     SEN W   Leevale A.C.       7.38

Men’s 60m

1 Israel OLATUNDE          SEN M   U.C.D. A.C.          6.57

2 Oliver SWINNEY            SEN M   Speed Development Project Track A.C.   6.70

3 Gabriel KEHINDE           SEN M   Ennis Track A.C.                6.72

Women’s 800m

1 Iseult O DONNELL        SEN W   Raheny Shamrock A.C.   2:07.06

2 Nadia POWER                SEN W   Dublin City Harriers A.C. 2:07.22

3 Susie NESTOR                SEN W   U.C.D. A.C.                         2:08.15

Men’s 800m

1 Mark ENGLISH SEN M Finn Valley A.C. 1:52.47

2 Roland SURLIS SEN M Annalee A.C.      1:53.21

3 Jake BAGGE    SEN M   Ferrybank A.C.   1:53.77

Women’s Long Jump

1 Elizabeth NDUDI SEN W Dundrum South Dublin A.C. 6.28

2 Ruby MILLET SEN W St Abbans A.C. 6.28

3 Lauren CALLAGHAN SEN W Finn Valley 6.07

Women’s Shot Put

1 Michaela WALSH SEN W Swinford A.C. 15.60

2 Katherine O CONNOR SEN W   Dundalk St. Gerards A.C. 14.28

3 Ciara SHEEHY SEN W   Emerald A.C. 13.44

Men’s Pole Vault

1 CALLINAN KEENAN       SEN M   St. L. O’Toole A.C. 4.80

2 Michael BOWLER          SEN M   Enniscorthy A.C. 4.65

3 Rolus OLUSA   SEN M   Clonliffe Harriers A.C.     4.55

Men’s Triple Jump

1 Jai BENSON     SEN M   Lagan Valley A.C.             14.79

2 Conall MAHON              SEN M   Tír Chonaill A.C. 14.40

3 Michael KENT                SEN M   D.M.P. A.C.         13.34

Women’s High Jump

1 Philippa ROGAN            SEN W   Sli Cualann A.C.                1.79

2 Ava ROCHFORD             SEN W   Nenagh Olympic A.C.      1.76

3 Ciara KENNELLY            SEN W   Killarney Valley A.C.        1.70

Men’s WFD

1 Michael HEALY              SEN M   Leevale A.C.       8.69

2 Barry HEALY    SEN M   Youghal A.C.                      7.32

3 Stephen FEE    SEN M   Lusk A.C.                            5.95


  • Full results HERE
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