Athletics Ireland name strong team for World Athletics Championships

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Athletics Ireland have announced that eleven individual athletes and the Mixed 4x400m Relay Team have all been selected for this month’s World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

The superb Hayward Field which has a capacity of 30,000 will host the ten action packed days of athletics, with President Joe Biden expected to open the Championships.

Ireland will look to the likes of Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC), Brendan Boyce (Finn Valley AC), and David Kenny (Farranfore Maine Valley AC) to hopefully produce top ten finishes, while it is hoped that a strong Mixed Relay team that includes National Record holder Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght AC) will be able to replicate their performance at the Olympic Games and make the final.

Barr goes into the Championships having only returned to action at last weekend’s Irish Life Health National Senior Track and Field Championships. The Waterford man will be hoping he can build through the rounds as he is notorious for doing at major championships.

Brendan Boyce has also had his injury battles this season, while David Kenny has looked ultra-impressive getting within thirty seconds of Robert Heffernan’s National Record over 20k back in April and is ranked within the top ten in the World this year.

Rhasidat Adeleke will compete in the 400m and 4x400m Mixed Relay. Adeleke has had a superb year breaking the Irish records over 60m, 200m, and 400m. Her 400m clocking of 50.70s puts her inside the World’s top twenty this year and having ran a relay split of 49.5s, she may be able to go faster.

Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrocks AC) will join Adeleke in the Women’s 400m. Becker has ran the two fastest times of her life in recent months so comes into the championships in good shape and on the back of an impressive victory at the National Senior Championships last weekend.

Chris O’Donnell (North Sligo AC) will run in the Men’s 400m and 4x400m Mixed Relay. O’Donnell ran 45.26s two weeks ago in Madrid to move him to joint second on the Irish All-Time list behind only David Gillick.

Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC) will compete in the Women’s 100m Hurdles. It has been another impressive season for Lavin so far running a PB of 12.93s in Madrid two weeks ago, and the Limerick woman still feels she has the potential to go faster.

In the Middle-Distance events Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC) is selected for the 800m along with Mark English (Finn Valley AC), while Sarah Healy (UCD AC) and Andrew Coscoran (Star of the Sea AC) are both selected for the 1500m. Shanahan broke the Irish senior 800m record earlier this year, while Healy ran an U23 1500m record recently.

Also travelling with team to make up the 4x400m Mixed Relay squad are Jack Raftery (Donore Harriers), Luke Lennon-Ford (Clonliffe Harriers), and Sharlene Mawdsley (Newport AC).

Selectors will decide whether to send a Women’s 4x100m team in the coming days.

A number of athletes have withdrawn and will focus instead on the Commonwealth Games (those named on Northern Ireland Team) and European Championships later in the summer, including Ciara Mageean, Phil Healy and Fionnuala McCormack.

The World Athletics Championships commence on Friday July 15th and run until Sunday July 24th.

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