There were some impressive Irish performances on the track and in the field away from home soil last weekend with a number of Ireland’s top International athletes in action.
On Saturday, all eyes were on Birmingham for the Diamond League meeting in the newly renovated Alexander Stadium. The venue will play host to the athletics action at this summer’s Commonwealth Games.
The standout performance from an Irish perspective arguably came from Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn AC) in the Women’s 1500m. Mageean who is a former European Senior medallist over the distance and a two-time Olympian was running in her first 1500m race of the season. The week before she had ran her second fastest ever time over 800m running 1.59.86 in Belfast. Mageean will be pleased with her opener over 1500m running a solid time of 4.05.70 to finish in fourth place. Fellow Irish athlete Sarah Healy (UCD AC) was also in the field finishing 11th in 4.15.97. Laura Muir of Britain won the race in 4.02.81.
Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC) made her Diamond League debut in the Women’s 800m. Shanahan is now the Irish record holder for the distance having ran 1.59.42 in Belfast one week prior. Shanahan will not be displeased with her performance on Saturday, as she finished eighth in 2.01.35 in a world class field. Olympic silver medallist Keely Hodgkinson of Britain looked as impressive as ever to win the race in 1.58.63.
Both Luke McCann (UCD AC) and Georgie Hartigan (Dundrum South Dublin AC) competed in 800m B races. McCann finished fourth in 1.50.43, while Hartigan was eighth in 2.05.11.
Also, on Saturday Darragh McElhinney (UCD AC) and Claire Mooney (Naas AC) were in action in Karlsruhe in Germany at the Long Night of Athletics meet.
McElhinney will be pleased with his season opener running 3.39.79 for 1500m to finish sixth, a new Outdoor PB. Mooney finished second in 2.03.91 in her 800m race.
On Sunday, Sharlene Mawdsley (Newport AC) ran over 400m in Grosseto, Italy where she ran a time of 53.15s.
A number of Irish athletes ran in the Loughborough International meet in England. Ireland entered a Men’s 4x400m relay team which finished second in 3.06.55. The team comprised of Jack Raftery (Donore Harriers), Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC), Chris O’Donnell (North Sligo AC), and Marcus Lawler (Clonliffe Harriers).
Callum Morgan (Candour Track Club) achieved the standard for the World Junior Championships running 8.10.02 to finish seventh in the 3000m. Nick Griggs was second in 8.05.22.
In the 400m Hurdles, Nessa Millet (St. Abbans AC) ran 58.42s to finish third, just off her seasons best.
Phillipa Rogan (Sli Cualann) and Daena Kealy (St. Abban’s) were both in action in the Women’s High Jump. Both cleared 1.78m, with Rogan finishing second and Kealy in third. Kealy’s clearance was a new PB.
Ellen McCartney (City of Lisburn AC) was fourth in the Women’s Pole Vault clearing 4.05m.
Michaela Walsh (Swinford AC) won the Shot-Put throwing 15.32m, a new Season’s Best.
The week ahead looks extremely busy with more than 150 Irish athletes expected to compete outside Ireland in ten different countries. The Outdoor season is well and truly underway!