It was a busy evening for Irish athletes in Stockholm last Thursday as preparations continued for the upcoming World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, and European Championships in Munich later this summer. Following a successful 150th edition of the Irish Life Health National Senior Track and Field Championships the weekend before, four individual athletes and two relay teams were in action in Sweden’s capital in pre-programme races of the Diamond League meet.
John Fitzsimmons (Kildare AC) was the first Irish athlete to take to the track in the Men’s 800m. Fitzsimmons won a silver medal at Morton Stadium at the National Championships and was looking to clock another good time and challenge his Irish lead of 1.45.66 set in Toulouse in May. Fitzsimmons moved nicely through the field during the race, perhaps tying up slightly up the home straight but will probably be satisfied with a second placed finish, crossing the line in a time of 1.46.80. Great Britain’s Ben Pattison took victory. Fitzsimmons has already secured the Athletics Ireland A Standard for the European Championships in Munich.
Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC) looked comfortable winning the National title in the 100m Hurdles. The Limerick woman was back in action in Stockholm on Thursday evening. Into a +0.8m/s wind, Lavin ran a time of 13.13s to finish in fourth, off her PB of 12.93s. While she may have been slightly disappointed with the time, Lavin was officially selected for the World Championships less than an hour later.
Sarah Healy (UCD AC) would have been disappointed with her fourth-place finish in the 800m at the National Championships so was looking to bounce back last Thursday in the 1500m. Healy has had a good season running a National U23 Record over 1500m of 4.02.86 at the end of May. The Dublin based athlete just lost touch with the leaders with a lap to go but fought hard all the way to the line finishing sixth in a time of 4.08.81. Healy has also been selected for this month’s World Championships.
Andrew Coscoran (Star of the Sea AC) missed the National Championships due to illness but returned to action last Thursday in the Men’s 1500m. Coscoran performed well in a competitive race finishing sixth in 3.37.33, not too far off his Seasons Best of 3.36.54. The Louth man was also officially selected for the World Championships in Eugene in just over a week’s time.
Both Irish 4x100m relay teams were also in action. The Men’s team of Israel Olatunde (UCD AC), Mark Smyth (Raheny Shamrocks AC), Colin Doyle (Leevale AC), and Joseph Ojewumi (Tallaght AC) placed sixth in 40.01s.
The Women’s team of Lauren Roy (City of Lisburn AC), Sarah Leahy (Killarney Valley AC), Kate Doherty (Dundrum South Dublin AC), and Adeyemi Talabi (Longford AC) finished a strong third in 44.25s, a new Season’s Best. The National Record goes back to 2018 and stands at 43.80s.