Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrocks AC) and Phil Healy (Bandon AC) competed at the Rabat Diamond League Meeting in Morocco on Sunday in what was a busy weekend for Irish athletes overseas.
Both Becker and Healy raced in a world class 400m race which included Tokyo 2020 Olympic silver medallist Marileidy Paulino of the Dominican Republic and 2022 World Indoor Championships bronze medallist Stephenie Ann McPherson.
Healy, who is coached by Shane McCormack, was opening her season in Rabat while Becker had already got hers underway running two 400m races. Having gone into the season with a PB of 52.32s, Becker has made solid progression. She clocked 52.24s to win the Women’s A race at the Irish Milers Club meet in Belfast and followed that up with her first run under 52s to finish second at the IFAM Meet in Belgium where she ran 51.83s.
Both athletes will be pleased with their performances in Rabat. Becker, a member of the Jeremy Lyons led Dublin Sprint group, was drawn in lane four and produced a strong final 100m to finish in four place, just 0.01s outside her PB, running 51.84s. The Wexford native will feel there is more in the tank in the weeks to come.
Healy, in lane eight, got out of the blocks well and battled all the way to the line to finish seventh in 52.28s. This was Healy’s fastest ever season opener outdoors and will give her plenty of encouragement for the weeks ahead.
Also, over the Bank Holiday weekend, Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC) and Andrew Coscoran (Star of the Sea AC) were in action at the FBK Games in Hengelo, the Netherlands.
Lavin who is second on the Irish All-Time list for the 100m Hurdles behind Derval O’Rourke, has made an impressive start to her season. The Limerick woman has ran two 13.00s races this season at meets in Germany and Poland. Last week Lavin told the Irish Runner that training and preparation under the guidance of her coach Noelle Morrissey was going very well. Conditions weren’t ideal on Monday with heavy rain prior to the race. Lavin finished in seventh place clocking 13.10s. She will return to action in Samorin, Slovakia tomorrow evening. The race was won by Jamaica’s Britany Anderson in 12.51s.
Coscoran, coached by Feidhlim Kelly, has had a good start to his season running a number of good races on the circuit. He continued his solid recent form by placing fourth in the Men’s 1500m race on Monday. The race also saw Coscoran run a new Season’s Best of 3.36.54, less than a second off his PB that he ran last year of 3.35.66. Kenya’s Kumari Taki claimed victory in 3.34.77. Coscoran is on the entry list for the Folksham Grand Prix in Sweden on Sunday.
Elsewhere Michelle Finn (Leevale AC) opened her season in the 3000m Steeplechase at the International Pentecost Sport Meeting in Rehlingen, Germany on Sunday. Finn, also coached by Kelly, finished second in 9.46.93.
Also competing at the same meet was Paul Robinson (St. Coca’s AC). Robinson finished seventh in the 1500m running 3.40.00.
Luke McCann (UCD AC) was also in action over 1500m on Sunday at the Music City Track Carnival in Nashville, USA. McCann ran 3.38.64 to finish fifth.