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Updated: 19 min 25 sec ago

National CE Squad in Santry

6 May, 2014 - 15:59

The National Combined Events Squad met in Santry on Sunday May 4th. Six events were coached across the day. Brid Golden focused on Sprint Hurdles, Lucy Moore coached the High Jump, Alan Golden worked on the Long Jump and Garry Power travelled from the UK to coach Javelin, Discus and Shot.

Athletes selected the groups they wanted to work in and focused on competition prep for the summer. A number of multi-eventers were competing over the last week from Woodford to Waterford. This weekend also saw the start of the Counties and provincial championships. National CE Coordinator, Kieron Stout, discussed competition plans with athletes as they prepare to start their outdoor multi events season at home and abroad this summer. Combined Events athletes need to carefully plan their competitions.

A two day competition needs much longer recovery than an individual event. Leave plenty of time between competitions and lighten the training load a month out to focus on speed and quickness within technical events. You will not get much stronger but you can get faster. Limit yourself to no more than three CE competitions in your outdoor season. Your national championships and one or two more heptathlons or decathlons. This year our national CE championships are on 2/3rd of August in Tullamore.

Athletes were provided with a list of summer Combined Events championships. The bursary for National CE squad members to travel outside Ireland for competitions will continue for another year. Athletes were reminded to complete their EOI form on the HP Athletics Ireland site if they wish to be considered for selection the European Cup 2nd League in July. The next National CE Squad will be in early September. The focus for the coaching team now turns to athlete support. Don’t forget to link in to the National Combined Events Squad Facebook Page for the latest information on squad activity and competition plans.

For more information on the National Combined Events Squad please contact;
Kieron Stout, National Combined Events Coordinator Email:
Mobile: 086 2450134

261 Sub 4 Minute Miles

6 May, 2014 - 15:53

On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the first sub 4 minute mile by Sir Roger Bannister on the 6th May 1954 in Oxford, a listing of sub 4 minute miles run in Ireland has been compiled. Research has found 261 performances by 148 athletes in 59 races across 11 venues. Of course the very first one was on the very famous night in Santry in August 1958 when Herb Elliott (AUS) broke the tape in a World Record 3.54.5 with a total of 5 going under the barrier in that race.

The fastest has been Sydney Maree (USA) 3.49.42 at the Cork City Sports in 1982. The youngest has been Neil Horsfield (GBR) 3.54.39 at the Cork City Sports in 1986 aged 19 years 7months and 1 day. The oldest has been John Walker (NZL) 3.58.29 at Giro Bank Ulster Games in 1989 aged 37 years 6 months and 5 days.

The most frequent have been Marcus O’Sullivan and Ray Flynn with 10 each followed by John Walker with 9 and Steve Scott (USA) and Eamonn Coghlan on 8 each.

The deepest field was at Cork City Sports in 1986 with 11 dipping under 4 minutes. The cities of Dublin and Cork are evenly matched with 106 performances each with Belfast having 40. Following on from Elliott in 1958, five subsequent Mile World Record holders; Peter Snell (NZL), Filbert Bayi (TAN), John Walker (NZL), Steve Ovett (GBR) and Steve Cram (GBR) ran sub 4s in Ireland.

Sub 4 Minute Miles

U23 Record for Caoimhe King

6 May, 2014 - 09:49

Caoimhe King (Westport AC) competed in the British University Championships from the 3rd-5th May at the Bedford International Stadium. King finished second in the triple jump event setting a new Irish U23 record of 12.75m, which added over 20 centimetres to the old mark which King held at 12.52m.

King also competed in the long jump event finishing second with a leap of 5.96m.

Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim AC) and Nessa Millet (St Abbans AC) contested the women’s 400m Hurdles Final. In the earlier heats McMahon had recorded a new personal best of 59.09 to start as one of the favourites to take the title. McMahon ran strongly off the last barrier to finish second with a time of 59.23, her second fastest time ever for the event.

Millet was leading coming off the last barrier but placed just outside the medals to finish fourth in a seasons best time of 60.54.

Pollock Achieves Euro Standard (US Round-Up)

5 May, 2014 - 16:52

Irish International Marathon Runner Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders AC) achieved the qualifying standard in the 10,000m for the European Track and Field Championships in Zurich in August. Pollock competing in the Payton Jordon Invitational Meeting in California recorded a time of 28.32.18 to dip inside the required standard of 28.35 for the European Championships.

The time was only .03 outside Dermot Donnelly’s Northern Ireland record set in 1999. Pollock now has the qualifying times in both the 10,000m and marathon for August’s European Championships in Zurich.

Also in action in California was Mark Hanrahan (Leevale AC) and Shane Quinn (Ferrybank AC) as they competed in section two of the 10,000m. Hanrahan recorded a new personal best of 29.33.80 with Quinn just behind with a time of 29.36.24 for 18th and 19th place respectively.

Kerry Harty (Newcastle AC) finished eighth in the 3,000m steeplechase in a time of 10.10.28 and Tomas Cotter (Dunleer AC) finished 7th in the men’s equivalent in a time of 8.44.15.

The ever improving Sean Tobin (Clonmel AC) notched up another impressive victory over 800m at the LSU Invitational. Tobin won the race in a time of 1.48.79 which was less than a second outside his personal best for the distance (1.47.99) set on the 11th of April.

A day previous Olympian Ciaran O’Lionaird (Leevale AC) competed in the Jamaican International Invitational Meet over 1,500m. O’Lionaird is on the comeback trail after spending nearly a year out with injury finished in second place in a time of 3.41.74. The race was won by Will Lee (USA) in a time of 3.41.31

Solid Performance for Rob Heffernan & QT for Laura Reynolds

4 May, 2014 - 15:25

World Champion Rob Heffernan (Togher AC) finished in the 23rd place at the prestigious IAAF World Race Walking Cup in Taicang, China on Sunday 4th of May. A day previous Laura Reynolds (Mohill AC) achieved the qualifying standard in the women’s 20km race for the European Track and Field Championships in Zurich.

The world cup event brings together the world’s best race walkers to compete over distances of either 20km or 50km.

Heffernan was joined on the Irish men’s team by Brendan Boyce (Letterkenny AC), Luke Hickey (Leevale AC) and Cian McManamon (Westport AC) as the four Irish athletes tackled the 20km distance in China.

Heffernan was amongst the leaders going through the 10km point; however he lost ground over the second half of the race when the 20km specialists in the race surged ahead. Heffernan continued to walk strong and recorded a time of 1:21.00 for 23rd place, a solid performance when you consider his major focus for the year is the 50km race at the European Track and Field Championships in Zurich in August.

The race was won by Rusian Dmytrenko of the Ukraine in a national record of 1:18.37

After recently recovering from illness Boyce finished in 77th place in the race in a time of 1:26.55. Boyce was also using this race as preparation for the 50km race at the European Championships. Hickey made an aggressive start to the race and was rewarded for his efforts recording a personal best of 1:27.51 to finish in 80th place. McManamon finished a minute behind Hickey in 84th place in a time of 1:28.51. Both Hickey and McManamon were making their debut at world competition level.

Olympian Laura Reynolds was Ireland’s sole representative in the women’s 20km race. Reynolds demonstrated improved form recording a time of 1:32.25 to finish in 37th place. The time was the Leitrim athletes second fastest ever time for the distance and also inside the qualifying standard (1:33.00) for the European Championships in Zurich.

The women’s race was won by Russian athlete Anisya Kirdyapkina in a world leading time of 1:26.31.

Mighty shot effort from Kelly

2 May, 2014 - 11:25

The May Day annual open meeting at Finn Valley AC, held in cool conditions, went off extremely well with the key highlight an 18.80m shot ( 6kg ) effort from Valley athlete John Kelly, a mere 5 cms short of the A qualifying standard for the world junior champs in Oregon July . This is the best throw by an Irish u 20 athlete in the history of the discipline and, subject to ratification, a new national record - the current mark at 17.70m stands to Eoin Leen from 2003 .

John Kelly a rotational thrower has worked extremely hard through the winter months and with his coach Dad John and the support of his family has developed a most proffessional support team round him in the area of S / C, Nutrition ,physio . Additionally he had sourced an indoor throws area during the winter again it all adds up to a focus rarely seen and is now paying dividends for the St Johnstone lad.

Competition is the life of any sport hence good to witness an enthusiastic turnout from local and visiting clubs, and Meet Director Neil Martin expressed his thanks to the numerous officials who helped deliver the programme and to the guests from a wide area who made it the event that it was .


Level 3 Course Finished in Athlone

2 May, 2014 - 10:15

A journey which began in October 2013 was completed this Easter. The AAI Level 3/IAAF Level IV Coach Education course was completed on Easter Sunday in Athlone. This course began with a theory block for all event groups in October 2013 given by Ralph Mouchbahani. Armed with the theoretical knowledge and many working examples of micro, macro and meso cycles, the coaches then split into event specific groups in Dublin in February 2014.

Gunter Lange of the IAAF led the Middle & Long Distance group. Volker Herrmann from Germany led the Sprints & hurdles group and Kevin Ankrom led the Jumps group. Each of these three groups then underwent an intensive three days of both practical and theoretical learning in Dublin.

The aforementioned three groups again met over Easter in Athlone for four days to complete the course and to sit the various practical, oral, written and planning assessments.

The throws group were fortunate to have World – renowned Throws Coach Didier Poppe travel from New Zealand to lead the Throws for eight days over Easter in Athlone.

Coaches in all event areas found the course challenging, and the Tutors were very happy with the overall standard and input. It is hoped that these coaches can now help to develop their events and develop athletes in these event areas to perform at a high level with the help of the knowledge learned.

Thank you to all the tutors who gave of their time and expertise to deliver the course and to all the coaches who gave the time and commitment to attend.