Ireland signed off the final day of a hugely successful European Athletics U20 Championships in Jerusalem with a further four top-8 placings and a national U20 4x400m relay record during this evening’s closing session (Aug 10th).
The men’s 4x400m relay team of David Bosch, Joe Doody, and Mannion brothers Stephen and David, bagged a national U20 record with a brilliant 3:09.75 to finish 7th in another hugely positive championship for the Irish relay.
Starting from lane eight, the women’s 4x400m relay team of Kate O’Connell, Hannah Murray, Victoria Amiadamen, and Niamh Murray were well in contention for a top-five finish at the mid-way point before ultimately having to settle for 7th place in a time of 3:39.39.
The men’s 4x100m relay team of Nkemjika Onwumereh, Sean Aigboboh, Darragh Murphy, and Dannan Long clocked 41.34 to finish 7th in their final before later being disqualified. The team were very unfortunate given their impressive showing and will take much from today’s experience.
Maeve O’Neill (Doheny AC) got the ball rolling for the Irish with a top-8 finish in the 800m final, clocking 2:10:68 for eight place having come into this week’s championships ranked outside the top 20 on her season’s best.
There were two top-20 performances from Ireland’s Avril Millerick (Youghal AC) 20th & Louise O’Mahony (BMOH AC) 11th in the women’s 5,000m final. The race was dominated by Danish athlete Agate Caune who claimed gold in 15:03.85 CR ahead of the Irish pair who battled on bravely to the finish in 17:00.33 (O’Mahoney) and 17:30:60 (Millerick).
18-year-old Jonas Stafford (Ashford AC) went in the men’s 5,000m final, clocking 14:31.60 for 12th place in a race that was won by Dutch athlete Niels Laros who picked up his second gold of the championships in 14:11.82. Stafford was right in contention for a top ten placing throughout and will be one to watch over the upcoming cross-country season.
Earlier in the day Elizabeth Ndudi (Dundrum South Dublin AC) won gold for Ireland in the women’s long jump with her best leap of 6.56m (+1.4) smashing her own Irish U20 record of 6.44 which she posted just last month.
That gold medal winning performance, coupled with Nick Griggs’ superb silver yesterday, continued a remarkable run for Irish athletes in recent editions of these championships.
From 1970-2015 Ireland won 12 medals (3 gold) at European U20 Championships, while in the period 2017-2023 Irish athletes have amassed another 12 medals (6 gold).