Israel Olatunde (UCD AC) stormed through to the semi-finals of the men’s 100m on the opening morning of the European Athletics Championships in Munich.
Olatunde produced the race of his life to win his heat clocking a new personal best and national U23 record of 10.19s in doing so.
The Dundalk man looked strong and relaxed as he crossed the line and will feel he has more to offer in tomorrow evening’s semi-final where the top twelve ranked athletes this year will enter the fray.
Israel Olatunde closes in on national senior record
Olatunde’s time was just 0.01s off Paul Hession’s national senior record which dates back to 2007.
The 20-year-old told the Irish Runner last week that he was ready to go out and show what he could do, and he will certainly have more Irish eyes on him tomorrow.
It was a great performance and no doubt his rivals will have taken notice.
Elsewhere on the opening day the Irish women’s team finished fifth overall as their quest to medal in the European Marathon Cup came up short.
Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole AC) led the team home finishing in a fantastic seventh position. McCormack had been in contention to win an individual medal up until the last few kilometres when a surge at the front tarnished her chances. She was unable to go with the move but nonetheless finished strongly in a time of 2.29.25
Ann-Marie McGlynn (Letterkenny AC) finished just inside the top thirty, as she crossed the line in 29th position running 2.38.26.
Aoife Cooke (Eagle AC) was 34th in 2.40.37.
In the men’s marathon Hugh Armstrong (Ballina AC) finished in 58th running 2.25.27.
Eric Favors (Raheny Shamrocks AC) fell just short of making the final in the men’s Shot Put.
Favors threw a best of 19.71m in qualification to place him 15th overall and seventh in Group A. The top twelve advanced to the final.
It has been a record-breaking year for Favors who looks on course to continue to progress in the years ahead. Just ten days ago he threw a new national record of 20.50m to add nearly 10cm onto his previous best.
Up until this year Paul Quirke’s national record of 20.04m had stood for thirty years, with John Kelly (Finn Valley AC) also surpassing that mark in July.
Irish involvement continues this evening with Phil Healy (Bandon AC), and Sharlene Mawdsley (Newport AC) in action in the women’s 400m heats at 6.35pm and 6.53pm respectively.
National 1000m record holder Luke McCann (UCD AC) and Tokyo 2020 Olympian Andrew Coscoran (Star of the Sea AC) go in the heats of the men’s 1500m at 7.15pm and 7.26pm rounding off day one from an Irish perspective as they attempt to make Thursday’s final.
The European Athletics Championships are live on RTÉ and BBC