It was another fantastic night for Irish athletes who were in action in Norway, Denmark, and Spain respectively as Personal Bests and Season’s Bests tumbled.
The annual Bislett Games were the main attraction for athletics fans last night with the Norwegian capital of Oslo hosting the latest round of the Diamond League. A win for home favourite Jakob Ingebrigtsen provided a sensational ending to the live TV coverage with the 21-year-old Olympic Champion running a new World Lead, National Record, Diamond League Record and PB of 3.46.46 in the Dream Mile, marginally outside Steve Cram’s European Record.
Once the cameras stopped rolling attention turned to Facebook Live where Irish athletics fan Seamus Carey was on hand to live stream the Irish Women’s 4x400m Relay team of Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrocks AC), Phil Healy (Bandon AC), Roisin Harrison (Emerald AC), and Sharlene Mawdsley (Newport AC) in action. The team were looking to all but secure their spot at the European Championships in Munich in August and did exactly that running a time of 3.29.46. This is less than two seconds outside the National Record which dates back to 2011 and the Irish team will certainly feel confident that they can break that later this summer. The time leaves Ireland just 0.06s outside the qualifying spots for the upcoming World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, however, that was not the main goal for the team.
Nessa Millet (St. Abbans) was also in action in Oslo racing in the 400m Hurdles pre-programme event. Millet ran a time of 58.25s to finish second, outside her Season’s Best of 57.82s.
Denmark was the venue for the Copenhagen Athletics Games last night with Darragh McElhinney (UCD AC) travelling to the Danish capital to run over 1500m. McElhinney has had a very good season to date running a 13.17.17 5000m at the IFAM Oordegem meet in Belgium, which was a new Irish U23 record. The 21-year-old seems to be constantly progressing and continued on his upward trajectory last night. Having already ran a 1500m PB this season, the Cork man once again ran faster for the distance clocking 3.37.72 last night. McElhinney now moves to third on the Irish list for this season behind Tokyo 2020 Olympian Andrew Coscoran and Luke McCann.
Mark English (Finn Valley AC) and Paul Robinson (St. Coca’s AC) were in Spain last night for the Meeting Internacional Memorial Cansino in Castellón. English raced over 800m, while Robinson was in the 1500m. English will be happy to have come away with another Season’s Best. The Donegal man kicked for home and took the lead with 200m to go but faded slightly up the home straight to finish fourth in a time of 1.46.02.
Robinson also produced a strong performance to knock more than a second off his Season’s Best finishing in ninth in a time of 3.38.90. Both athletes are currently being coached by Feidhlim Kelly as part of the Dublin Track Club.