It was a busy weekend of action at home and abroad as the indoor season really kicked into gear. Rhasidat Adeleke starred once again. Rory Cassidy, Irish Runner Editor, takes a look back at the weekend that was.
Adeleke breaks two national records in Albuquerque
Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght A.C.) got her individual indoor season off to a dream start on Saturday when she broke two of her own national indoor records within the space of an hour.
Competing at the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Collegiate Invitational the 21-year-old sprint sensation clocked a blistering time of 7.15 seconds over 60m knocking 0.02 of a second off her previous best, to take victory in her race.
No sooner than she accomplished that feat Adeleke was back on the track for the 200m, where she finished second behind training partner Julien Alfred in 22.49, once again a national record.
The performances bode extremely well for Adeleke who like so many athletes has a massive 2024 ahead.
Irish athletes head to the continent
Saturday afternoon saw several of our top sprinting talents in action in mainland Europe as the short and snappy indoor season really got underway in earnest.
At the Jablonec Indoor meet in the Czech Republic, both last year’s national 60m indoor champions Israel Olatunde (U.C.D. A.C.) and Sarah Leahy (Killarney Valley A.C.) were in action.
Olatunde moved himself to the top of the Irish rankings this season with a 6.76 clocking in his heat, before finishing eighth in the final.
Leahy finished fifth in her final in a time of 7.39, just 0.01 outside her season’s best, while Molly Scott (St. Laurence O’Toole A.C.) finished eighth. Scott had earlier clocked a time of 7.42 to advance to the final.
In the Shot Put national record holder Eric Favors (Raheny Shamrock A.C.) threw 19.99m to finish third.
Other Irish results – Jablonec Indoor
- Joseph Ojewumi (Tallaght A.C.) – 60m – 6.94
- Conor Morey (Leevale A.C.) – 60m – 7.14
- Sarah Murray (Fingallians A.C.) – 60m – 7.65
- Aoife Lynch (Donore Harriers A.C.) – 60m – 7.67
- Mollie O’Reilly (Dundrum South Dublin A.C.) – 60m – 7.57
Moving to Germany next where three of our Mixed 4x400m Relay Olympic finalists from Tokyo were in action at the Dortmund Indoor Meeting.
Cillin Greene (Galway City Harriers) opened his season by finishing tenth overall in the Men’s 400m in 48.73.
In the Women’s 400m both Phil Healy (Bandon A.C.) and Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrock A.C.) took to the track. Healy was the third fastest athlete on the day, running 53.61, while Becker was fifth in 54.09.
In Latvia at the Kuldiga Catherine’s Cup meet Gabriel Kehinde (Ennis Track A.C.) finished fourth in the 60m A final in 6.83, while training partner Christopher Sibanda (Clonliffe Harriers A.C.) was second in the B final in 6.92.
Mark Milner (Tullamore Harriers A.C.) propelled himself to the top of the Irish 1500m rankings this season, with a massive PB of 3.42.93 to finish second in the Latvian town.
In doing so Milner sets a new Tullamore Harriers club record and is now in a battle with James Dunne to see who the first athlete from that club to break four minutes for the mile will be.
Shane Howard (Bandon A.C.) finished third in the Men’s Long Jump. His effort of 7.40m sees him move to the top of the Irish rankings for this year.
Everard and Donegan in XC action
Following successful performances in December at the European Cross Country Championships in Brussels, both Fiona Everard (Bandon A.C.) and Danielle Donegan (Tullamore Harriers A.C.) returned to Cross Country action at the British Athletics Cross Challenge at Parliament Hill in London on Saturday.
Everard finished in 10th, while Donegan crossed the line just ten seconds behind her and one place in 11th.
U20’s and U23’s shine in Athlone
Back in Ireland the 123.ie National U20 and U23 Indoor Championships took place in TUS International Arena, Athlone on Saturday.
Amongst the highlights was a scintillating sprint double for Katie Bergin (Moyne A.C.). Bergin won the 60m in a personal best time of 6.62, before returning to the track for the 200m, where she took gold in 24.54.
Sean Aigboboh (Tallaght A.C.) lit up the track when taking U20 Men’s 60m victory in 6.84, to equal the championship record held by Israel Olatunde.
Both championship records fell in the U20 Men and Women’s 1500m races.
Jack Fenlon (St. Abban’s A.C.) produced a fast finish to take the men’s title in 3.51.75, three seconds faster than the previous championship best held by Cian McPhillips since 2019. Incidentally both Cian Gorham (St. Peter’s A.C.) and Cormac Dixon (Tallaght A.C.) who won the silver and bronze medals were also both under McPhillips’ mark.
Just one hundredth of a second separated Eimear McCarroll (Finn Valley A.C.) from Emily Bolton (Donore Harriers A.C.) in the women’s race.
McCarroll closed well in the final lap to just pip Bolton to victory in a time of 4.32.71, again three seconds faster than the previous championship best which had been held by Ava O’Connor.
In the U23 Men’s Long Jump, Reece Ademola (Leevale A.C.) wasn’t at his brilliant best but still set a new championship record of 7.17m on his way to winning gold.