It looks set to be another busy weekend of athletics from an Irish perspective with a number of Olympians in action at home and abroad. This weekend also serves as the penultimate weekend that the qualification window is open for the World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon and is the final weekend before the 150th edition of the Irish Life Health National Senior Track and Field Championships at Morton Stadium, Santry.
Saturday sees the Meeting Madrid take place in Spain. The event is a World Athletics Continental Tour Silver meet and is expected to attract several high-profile athletes.
Amongst the Irish on the start list is Olympian Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC). Lavin has had an excellent 2022 so far making the World Indoor final in March in the 60m Hurdles and is in a strong position to make the Irish team for the World Championships. The Limerick woman ran a new Personal Best last week in Samorin, Slovakia of 12.94s for the 100m Hurdles and sits second on the Irish All-Time list behind Derval O’Rourke. Lavin will be considered one of the favourites in Madrid but will face stiff competition from Dutch athlete Zoe Sedney, and Denmark’s Mette Graversgaard who both have faster Season’s Bests than Lavin. The race is scheduled for 9.17pm Irish Time.
Fellow Tokyo Olympian Chris O’Donnell (North Sligo AC) is also on the start list for the Men’s 400m. O’Donnell ran a Season’s Best time of 45.91s in the Czech Republic on Tuesday night and will be hoping for a similar performance in Madrid. Leading the field on Season’s Bests is Belgian athlete Dylan Borlee who has ran 45.18s this year, while 2012 London Olympics silver medallist Luguelín Santos of the Dominican Republic is also in the field. O’Donnell will be in the blocks at 7.52pm Irish Time.
Two-time Olympian Michelle Finn (Leevale AC) is expected to race in the 3000m Steeplechase. Finn has only raced once at the distance this season clocking 9.46.93 at a meet in Germany last month. The Cork woman’s PB of 9.29.25 in Turku, Finland last year puts her second on the Irish All-Time list. Brazilian athlete Tatiane Raquel da Silva has the fastest time of those on the start list with a PB of 9.24.38 set this year. 8.22pm Irish Time is when Finn will be in action.
Back on home soil the Dunshauglin 10k Road Race takes place tomorrow evening. The race is part of the lucrative Kia Race Series. It is expected that multiple time Olympian Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole AC) will be on the start line leading what should be a stacked Women’s field, while Efrem Gidey (Clonliffe Harriers AC) fresh from a sixth placed finish in the European 10,000m Cup in France is likely to feature in the Men’s race.