Israel Olatunde (UCD AC) was the man to beat going into the final of the Men’s 100m. Olatunde has had a fantastic year, most recently breaking the Irish U23 100m record when clocking 10.27s in Austria. Having gotten through the heats and semi-final with relative ease, all eyes were on the Louth man in the final. Olatunde’s class shone as he got out of the blocks well and pulled away to take the national title in comfortable fashion in a time of 10.51s. It was a great day for Olatunde’s coach Daniel Kilgannon, who also coaches silver medal winner Joseph Ojewumi (Tallaght AC). Colin Doyle (Leevale AC) took a well-deserved bronze after injury battles in recent years.
The Women’s 100m final proved to be one of the races of the championship. The golden girl of Irish athletics Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght AC) was pushed all the way to the line by Molly Scott (St. Laurence O’Toole AC). Scott got off to her trademark fast start, with Adeleke being left in the blocks. It appeared the Carlow woman was on course to take the title when Adeleke dipped to beat her on the line. Adeleke clocked 11.68s, with Scott just 0.01s behind. Joan Healy (Leevale AC) who is now coached by Marian Heffernan and Derval O’Rourke won bronze in 11.77s.
The Men’s 200m saw Mark Smyth (Raheny Shamrocks AC) take a comfortable victory. The gold medal is Smyth’s first at a national senior outdoor championships. The Raheny man ran 21.95s into a massive headwind. Andrew Egan (Galway City Harriers) and Luke Morris (Emerald AC) took their first national senior medals finishing second and third, respectively.
The Women’s 200m final saw a superb battle between Lauren Cadden (Sligo AC) and Sarah Leahy (Killarney Valley AC). Leahy led for much of the race, with Cadden just going past her in the final metres to take gold in 24.94s. Leahy was thrilled to come away with a silver medal, while Roseanna McGuickan (City of Lisburn AC) won bronze.
Chris O’Donnell (North Sligo AC) was the hot favourite to win the Men’s 400m. O’Donnell moved to joint second on the Irish All-Time list recently in Madrid clocking 45.26s and will be looking forward to a busy couple of months with World and European Championships on the horizon. The Sligo man showed his class on Sunday leading from the off and finishing nearly a second clear of the silver medal winning athlete. He crossed the line in 46.82s. Marcus Lawler (Clonliffe Harriers) who competed in the 200m at the Tokyo Olympics finished second, while Eanna Madden (Carrick-on-Shannon AC) was third.
The battle between Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrocks AC) and Phil Healy (Bandon AC) was talked up extensively leading into the championships and it didn’t disappoint. Becker attacked the first 200m and was up on Healy’s shoulder with the stagger still to unwind. Healy closed the gap on Becker up the home straight but despite being under immense pressure the Wexford native now running for the Dublin club held her form to take her first national senior title over the distance in 52.34s. Healy finished in second while Cliodhna Manning (Kilkenny City Harriers) ran a new PB of 53.05s to take the bronze.