Shanahan and Greene Amongst Winners on Day One of AAI Games

ByEmma Porter |

Olympians Louise Shanahan (Leevale A.C.) and Cillin Greene (Galway City Harriers A.C.) were amongst the winners at the AAI Games and the opening day of the National Combined Event Indoor Championships on Saturday at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena (NIA) in Abbotstown, Dublin.

Shanahan was a comfortable winner of the Women’s 800m crossing the line in 2.04.25. The Cork athlete is now being coached by Mark Kirk and is moving to Belfast as she builds into a busy 2024 season.

“I think it’s good to get a race in the legs and get rid of the rust. I think I can run a lot faster but it’s a good start,” she said when speaking afterwards.

Greene, who is a former national senior champion, came out on top in the Men’s 400m just edging Callum Baird (Ballymena and Antrim A.C.) in what was a close encounter.

The winning time of 47.58 was just four hundredths of a second faster than Baird’s who finished in 47.62.

Greene returned to the track for the 200m later in the day where he won his heat in 21.41. National record holder Mark Smyth (Raheny Shamrock A.C.) was the fastest over the one lap event on the day clocking 21.34.

Katie Bergin (Moyne A.C.) continued her recent winning streak as the Kilkenny woman won her 200m heat in a personal best time of 24.46.

In the Women’s 400m Hannah Kelly (Bolton United Harriers) ran 53.06 to finish ahead of Roisin Harrison (Emerald A.C.) who crossed the line in 54.52.

Stepping down in distance to the 60m races where Bori Akinola (U.C.D. A.C.) impressed as he took victory in both of his 60m heats. The 22-year-old clocked 6.83 to win series one before improving his time to 6.77 in his second outing of the day.

Molly Scott (St. Laurence O’Toole A.C.) also took double victory in the Women’s 60m, finishing in 7.43 and 7.47 respectively.

The Carlow sprinter returned to action in the afternoon where she raced both series of the Women’s 60m Hurdles, once again taking two wins in 8.48 and 8.41.

Her clubmate Adam Nolan also heads back to the South-East with two 60m Hurdles victories to his name having notched up a 8.01, followed by a 7.98 clocking. That moves the 19-year-old to ninth on the Irish All-Time list for the event.

The Men’s 800m race promised to be one of the races of the day and it didn’t disappoint as Cian McPhillips (U.C.D. A.C.) edged out his training partner John Fitzsimons (Kildare A.C.).

McPhillips’ winning time of 1.47.32 was just over half a second clear of Fitzsimons who himself was less than a tenth of a second outside his own indoor personal best.

Amy O’Donoghue (Dundrum South Dublin A.C.) and Phillip Marron (Dublin City Harriers A.C.) were comfortable victors in their respective 1500m races, while Efrem Gidey (Clonliffe Harriers A.C.) and Carla Sweeney (Rathfarnham A.C.) both had breathing space up the home straight as they won their 3000m races.

Kate Veale (West Waterford A.C.) finished just two seconds outside her own personal best as she won the Women’s 3000m Race Walk, while teenager Evan Walsh (St. Joseph’s A.C.) won the men’s race.

In the field David Cussen (Old Abbey A.C.) produced a sensational indoor personal best of 2.16m to win the Men’s High Jump. Aoife O’Sullivan (Liscarroll A.C.) won the women’s event with a 1.70m clearance.

Lauren Callaghan (Finn Valley A.C.) had four jumps in excess of six metres as she won the Women’s Long Jump with a best of 6.07m. Colm Bourke (Raheny Shamrock A.C.) was the best of the men with 7.07m.

Michael Bowler (Enniscorthy A.C.) was well clear of his nearest challengers in the Men’s Pole Vault as he cleared 4.40m, while Caoilfhionn Ní Mhadagáin (Lusk A.C.) cleared 2.60m to win the women’s event.

Saragh Buggy (St. Abban’s A.C.) showed all her experience to win the Women’s Triple Jump with a best leap of 12.78m. Alexander Thomas (Brighton and Hove A.C.) jumped the exact same distance to win the men’s event.

Ciara Sheehy (Emerald A.C.) followed her U23 title last weekend with another win today in the Women’s Shot Put, throwing 13.62m, while Liam Shaw (Athenry A.C.) threw a best of 13.74m to win the men’s event.

In the Weight for Distance, Stephen Fee (Lusk A.C.) took the spoils with a best of 6.19m.

After four events in the Senior Men’s Heptathlon, Jack Forde (St. Killian’s A.C.) leads the way with 2710 points and looks well on course to retain his title.

Finn O’Neill (Lifford Strabane A.C.) leads the U20 competition, while Eoin O’Callaghan (Bandon A.C.) looks the man to beat in the U18 event.

The National Combined Event Championships continue tomorrow at the National Indoor Arena.

Results are available HERE.

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