Home News Brilliant Bronze for Ireland’s Kate Veale

Brilliant Bronze for Ireland’s Kate Veale


Ireland’s Kate Veale, Waterford’s ever improving young race walking champion, produced another excellent performance to win a coveted bronze medal in the junior women’s 10km event at the European Cup of Race Walking in the Algarve earlier today (Saturday).
17 year old West Waterford AC athlete defeated some top quality opposition when finishing in third place in hot conditions at this prestigious event, placing ahead of capable walkers from Italy, Germany, Britain, The Ukraine and one of the three highly favoured Russian team-members.

Veale’s time of 46:32 was a new Irish Junior record by 11 seconds.

The top two places on the podium were filled by the powerful Russian squad, the gold going to the exceptional Yelana Lashmanova who won comfortably in 43:10, and the silver to her team-mate Svetlana Vasilyeva in 44.02. The top Italian walker Anna Clemente staggered over the line in fourth place in 49.08, the trying conditions in The Algarve perhaps taking a toll. S

“I am surprised but delighted with my performance” said Veale after her bronze medal winning performance.

“It’s fabulous to be here competing against the best in the world, and even sweeter to win a medal. It was very warm but the venue was great and so was the circuit.”

The highly talented young Waterford athlete also paid tribute to the man who got to the start line in excellent condition:

“My inspiration is my coach and clubmate Jamie Costin. He’s been to the Olympics four times, and made sure I peaked just right,” she said. “The key was not to go off too fast, and it worked.”

This performance by Veale will not come as any surprise to any who have been watching the West Waterford athlete develop over the last two years, and particularly since winning the Irish Senior 5,000m race walking title last summer.

Veale now plans to continue her international progression and aim to compete well in the European Junior and European U23 Championships later in the summer.

Maeve Curley (Craughwell AC) and Emma Prendeville (Farranfore Maine Valley AC) both finished in the encouraging positions of 20th and 24th respectively in the same event as Veale, and all three together earned Ireland 5th place in the Team Category on the day.

There was terrible disappointment though for Loughrea’s Olive Loughnane who was hunting down 1st place in the final two kilometres in the women’s 10km event later in the day, when in the final stages of the race, she was unfortunately disqualified for lifting.

Loughnane had made her way up through the field all throughout the race and was within reaching distance of the Russian Sokolova who held on to take the the gold in 1:30.01 from her compatriot Anyisa Kirdyapkina.

“I’m not sure if I would have caught the Russian – but it would have been close,” said the ever-ambitious Loughnane. “I was hunting the gold medal and maybe I was hunting a little too hard, but I will bounce back and it will come together soon for me.” Loughnane had received her first warning at 11km but couldn’t recall where she had been given the crucial second red flag.

Mohill AC’s Laura Reynolds finished in a creditable 21st position in the same event as Loughnane, no doubt benefitting from her recent warm-weather training trip to Monte Gordo in Portugal.

Togher AC’s Robert Heffernan was one of the favourites for a top three place in the men’s 20km event, but the pace for most of the first half of the race was much too slow for the Irish Champion’s liking, and found it difficult this time to raise the pace necessary when it quickened greatly at 11km. The race was won Spain’s Benjamin Sanchez in a time of 1:12:24 and Heffernan had to settle for 10th place today.

Behind Heffernan, Brendan Boyce (Letterkenny AC) was 29th and Michael Doyle (Tara AC) was 33rd – solid performances for the Irish Walkers in the challenging conditions today.

In the junior men’s 10km event, Clonmel AC’s Even Lynch placed in 24th position at the end in a respectable time of 47:08.

Colin Griffin (Ballinamore AC) was right in contention with the leaders, and on schedule for a lifetime best in the gruelling 50 Km event, but then faded out of contention, a slight abductor injury not assisting his cause this time.