Olatunde smashes national record to win senior title

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Israel Olatunde (UCD AC) stormed to a new national 60m record at the National Senior Indoor Championships in Abbottstown this afternoon.

Olatunde defended the national title he had won last year as he once again won the Craig Lynch Cup in a blistering time of 6.57s.

The previous national record of 6.61s was set by Paul Hession in 2007.

An elated Olatunde couldn’t contain his excitement when he crossed the line and saw the clock, running around in celebration which resulted in him suffering cramp.

Israel Olatunde reacts to national record

“I came out here to these championships just wanting to give it my all. It’s been a little bit of a rocky season but me and my coach (Daniel Kilgallon) stayed focus and we knew that time would come,” Olatunde said.

“Championships are the best time to give your best performance so I’m just really happy to do it in front of this crowd in Abbottstown. It means a lot to me.”

“I knew if I performed my best that anything could happen.”

Oliver Swinney (Speed Development Track Club) took silver in 6.70s which moves the teenager to fourth on the Irish Indoor All-Time list. Gabriel Kehinde (Ennis Track) won bronze in 6.72s, with the first six athletes recording personal best’s.

Israel Olatunde
19 February 2023; Israel Olatunde of UCD AC, Dublin, celebrates after winning the senior men’s 60m Final during day two of the National Senior Indoor Championships at National Indoor Arena in Dublin. Photo by Tyler Miller/Sportsfile

Olatunde’s time ranks him seventh in Europe this season and he will no doubt feel that he is capable of challenging for a medal at the European Indoor Championships in Istanbul in two weeks’ time.

Sarah Leahy (Killarney Valley AC) produced an excellent performance to move to fourth on the Irish Indoor All-Time list as she won the Women’s 60m. The UL student saw off the challenge of Leevale duo Joan Healy and Lucy-May Sleeman who took silver and bronze respectively.

Jack Raftery (Donore Harriers) showed his class to win the Men’s 400m. The 21-year-old Mechanical Engineering student clocked a stunning new Championship Record of 46.37s to move him fifth on the Irish All-Time list. Ciaran Carthy (Dundrum South Dublin AC) and David Ryan (Moycarkey Coolcroo AC) won silver and bronze.

Sophie Becker back up her 2022 national outdoor title to take this year’s Indoor crown. The Wexford woman put in a strong performance to fend off the challenge of Phil Healy (Bandon AC). Miriam Daly (Carrick-on-Suir AC) finished strongly to win bronze.

Cheryl Nolan (St. Abban’s AC) won her first ever national senior title in emphatic fashion. The Laois woman left it late to overtake Michelle Finn (Leevale AC) to claim gold in the 3000m. It was Nolan’s first ever national senior medal and she described it as both “magical” and “unbelievable.”

Carla Sweeney (Rathfarnham WSAF) and Eoin Pierce (Raheny Shamrocks AC) took 1500m honours, while Mark English (Finn Valley AC) won his ninth national senior indoor title in the Men’s 800m. Iseult O’Donnell (Raheny Shamrocks AC) took the Women’s 800m after a pulsating battle with Nadia Power (Dublin City Harriers).

The Women’s Long Jump was the highlight of the field event action. Having matched each other throughout the competition Ruby Millet (St. Abban’s AC) took a marginal three centimetre lead going into the final round, with Elizabeth Ndudi (Dundrum South Dublin AC) trailing in second. Ndudi needed to match Millet’s best of 6.28m to win gold and she hit that mark exactly to secure victory on countback. Lauren Callaghan (Finn Valley AC) also jumped over six metres to win bronze.

Matthew Callinan-Keenan (St. Laurence O’Toole AC) equalled his personal best to retain his national senior indoor Pole Vault title, while Michaela Walsh (Swinford AC) broke her indoor PB to win the Women’s Shot Put.

Multi-event star Kate O’Connor (Dundalk St. Gerald’s AC) took silver in that event, as well as a fourth placed finish in the Long Jump. The 22-year-old had medalled in the hurdles on the opening day of the championships.

Philippa Rogan (Sli Cualainn AC) took the Women’s High Jump with a best clearance of 1.80m, while Jai Benson (Lagan Valley AC) took the Men’s Triple Jump crown, jumping 14.79m. The Men’s Weight for Distance was won by Michael Healy (Leevale AC).

The national club records fell in both the men’s and women’s 4x200m relays with Dundrum South Dublin AC and Clonliffe Harriers taking gold.

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