Efrem Gidey produced a superb performance to finish sixth at Saturday’s European 10,000m Cup in Pacé, France.

The Clonliffe Harriers athlete is no stranger to success on the European stage having won a medal at the 2019 European Cross Country Championships in the European stage. Stepping up to senior level though and being competitive is no easy feat but Gidey rose to the occasion.

A group of three athletes, France’s Jimmy Gressier, Spain’s Carlos Mayo, and Turkey’s Aras Kaya broke away early on the race with the Frenchman setting a searingly hot pace chasing a national record.

Gidey found himself in a group with about ten athletes and found himself positioned in the top eight for the majority of the race. The group used Kaya as a target when the Turk fell off the pace but were unable to catch him. Gidey battled all the way to the line to finish in sixth, outside the top five by less than a second, running a time of 28.01.50. This was a massive personal best for the 21-year-old and moves him to 12th on the Irish All-Time list. It is also well inside the European Championships qualifying standard of 28.15 giving Gidey the opportunity to compete in Munich in August if he wishes.

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Jack O’Leary (Mullingar Harriers) also competed in the ‘A’ race. O’Leary was disappointed with his 32nd place finish, clocking 30.06.80 but nonetheless the Westmeath man can be happy to have made a comeback in terms of competing for Ireland, picking up his first green singlet since the European Cross Country Championships in 2019.

Paul O’Donnell (Dundrum South Dublin AC) finished 11th in the ‘B’ race. O’Donnell ran a time of 30.01.39, a season’s best.

Three Irish women ran in the ‘A’ race. Ann Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny AC), Emma Mitchell (Clonliffe Harriers), and Aoibhe Richardson (Kilkenny City Harriers) were all part of what was a very competitive race.

McGlynn was competing at this competition for the third time and led the Irish team finishing 25th in 33.31.73. After a couple of weeks of injury in the lead up to the race she was happy to be back in the green singlet.

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Richardson also didn’t have an ideal build-up contracting Covid-19 a couple of weeks ago and still feeling the affects of it. She finished 28th in 34.22.31.

Mitchell was just behind Richardson in 29th clocking 34.32.39.

Turkey’s Yasemin Can was the race winner.

Grace Lynch (Iveragh AC) was in action in the ‘B’ race. Lynch finished 19th in 35.35.85. A respectable performance in what was her first occasion representing Ireland at senior level.

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