While much of the focus at the weekend from an Irish perspective was on the exploits of our athletes at the NCAA Division One Finals in Austin, Texas, a large contingent were competing at other track and field meets at home and around the world with a number of standout performances occurring.
Sharlene Mawdsley (Newport A.C.) continued what was a week to remember on Saturday in Geneva. The Tipperary woman had clocked a new 400m personal best of 51.34 on Tuesday in Huelva, Spain to move fourth on the Irish All-Time list in the event behind only Rhasidat Adeleke, Joanne Cuddihy, and Karen Shinkins, illustrating the fine form she is in.
In Switzerland, Mawdsley opted to step down in distance to the 200m, an event where she has won back-to-back national senior indoor titles. It was an extremely competitive race with the top two running sub-23 seconds and Mawdsley managed to produce an excellent performance, finishing third in a new personal best time of 23.18, over three tenths faster than what she ran indoors. It also moves her to sixth on the Irish All-Time list.
A number of other Irish athletes also competed in Geneva including Roisin Harrison (Emerald A.C.) and Phil Healy (Bandon A.C.) over 400m. Harrison moved up to eighth on the Irish All-Time list with a 52.53 personal best in her race, while Healy finished just off her season’s best clocking 53.11.
Israel Olatunde (U.C.D A.C.) also proved that he is rounding into good shape as he equalled his season’s best of 10.35 to win the 100m B final. Olatunde, who is the national record holder over 60m and 100m, was joined by Gabriel Kehinde (Ennis Track A.C.), Nelvin Appiah (Longford A.C.) and Conor Morey (Leevale A.C.) in the 4x100m relay as they ran 40.02, a time which is under the European U23 Championships qualifying standard.
Luke McCann (U.C.D A.C.) was also in action on the continent on Saturday competing at the Fast5000 meet in Montesson, Paris. Racing over 1500m McCann showed that he has continued his form on from a super indoor season, clocking 3.34.76 to finish in sixth. The time equals his indoor personal best set in Birmingham earlier this year and is nearly a second faster than anything he has ever ran outdoors.
Thomas Barr (Ferrybank A.C.) also continued what has been a consistent season so far as he took victory at the Folksam Grand Prix in Sweden yesterday. Barr is evidently in the best form he has been in since the Tokyo Olympics two years ago running his fastest time since the Games recently (49.05). His winning time on Sunday was 49.13 and it seems like a sub-48 second clocking is not too far away now.
There was also an excellent domestic meet on the new U.C.D track at Belfield as the Irish Milers Club put on an action packed programme on Saturday. Former European U20 1500m gold medallist Cian McPhilips (U.C.D. A.C.) returned to winning ways over 800m, with a gutsy 1.46.94 clocking which is under the qualifying standard for the European U23 Championships.
In the sprints Bori Akinola (U.C.D A.C.) and Jesse Osas (Ratoath A.C.) were impressive winners. Akinola won the Men’s A race in 10.38, while Osas stormed to a new national youth record of 10.51 in the B race, knocking over a tenth of a second off the record Israel Olatunde had set in 2019. Osas’ time is also the joint third fastest time by a European U18 this season and will give him a major boost ahead of the remainder of the season.
Thomas Barr, Mark English (Finn Valley A.C.), Sarah Healy (U.C.D A.C.) and Sarah Lavin (Emerald A.C.) are all in action tomorrow evening at the World Continental Tour Gold Meet in Turku, Finland.
Meanwhile, Ireland’s team for the European Team Championships in Chorzow, Poland which is part of the European Games, is set to be named this week.
Ireland compete in Division 3 which takes place in the Silesian Stadium from June 20th to 22nd.
*Youth record is subject to ratification
- Athletica Geneve results are HERE
- Fast5000 results are HERE
- Folksam Grand Prix results are HERE
- UCD Irish Milers Club results are HERE
- World Continental Tour Gold Turku timetable is HERE – *Two hours ahead
- World Continental Tour Gold Turku entries are HERE
- World Continental Tour Gold Turku live stream is HERE