Home News Heidler on top at Morton memorial

Heidler on top at Morton memorial


None Current World champion Betty Heidler posted a winning throw of 72.43 metres in a class-laden hammer event at Friday night’s Morton Memorial meeting in Santry. The cream of female hammer throwing put on an impressive show in what was billed as the strongest ever throwing event held in Ireland.

Four athletes threw over 70 metres with German Heidler finishing five centimetres ahead of Croatia’s Ivana Brkljacic, the current world number two.

Ireland’s Olympic hope Eileen O’Keeffe, who had to pull out of the event on Thursday due to a knee injury, was amongst the crowd.

But the Kilkenny woman will have been buoyed by the fact that Heidler’s winning throw was shorter that the 72.75m mark which secured her an eighth successive Irish hammer title last weekend.

Tuning up for Beijing, Heidler was particularly consistent in firing out efforts of 70.58, 71.22, 72.43 and 71.40.

Yet she was always pushed hard by Brkljacic who was within three centimetres of the eventual winner at one stage.

Poland’s Kamila Skolimowska, the Olympic champion in 2000, finished in third spot with a best throw of 71.56.

In the main event, the Morton mile, the first nine finishers all recorded sub four-minute performances with the USA claiming a notable 1-2-3.

Rob Myers overtook fellow American Stephen Pifer coming into the penultimate lap and finished strongly in a winning time of 3 minutes, 56.23 seconds.

Will Leer came home in second place in 3:56.75 and Pifer was third (3:57.27).

David Campbell was best of the Irish in a time of 4:00.17, hitting the line in a disappointing tenth position.

Fifty years after Herb Elliot’s famous mile world record at Santry Stadium, the race was a fittingly competitive tribute to that 1958 run which was watched by a 20,000-capacity crowd.

Amongst the reasonably sized crowd last night were Ireland middle distance greats Ronnie Delany and Eamonn Coghlan.

Best of the Irish on the track last night was Maria McCambridge who was pipped by half-a-second for first in the 3000 metres by American Melissa Cook (9:03.58).

Cook crucially had the better kick down the final straight. Her compatriot Mary Jane Reeves was third in 9:17.14.

In the men’s 100m, Bernard Williams of the USA built on his semi-final win of 10.45 seconds to record a 10.29 victory in the final.

He was just one-hundredth of a second ahead of Jamaican Mario Forsythe (10.30), with American Andrew Hinds third (10.32).

Canadian Toyin Olupona dominated the women’s 100m in a time of 11.64 seconds, with Kelly Proper of Ireland second (11.80) and the USA’s Lashawndra Ratcliff finishing third (11.84).

American Greg Nixon, a recent winner at the Cork City Sports, secured the 400m title in a time of 45.61 seconds, ahead of Bahamas duo Andrae Williams (45.75) and Michael Mathieu (45.95).

Jamaica’s Rosemary Whyte was best placed in the corresponding women’s event (51.53), ahead of the USA’s Debbie Dunn (51.85) and Jamaican Clora Williams (52.59).

In the three-mile event, Kenya’s Josphat Boit performed a perfect bit of overtaking to outdo American Stephen Haas, the long-time leader, in the final 200m and claim victory in a time of 13:37.62.

Haas clocked 13:39.11 for second and Australia’s Pete Nohill was third in 13:58.33.

Dundrum South Dublin’s Deirdre Ryan cleared 1.83 metres to finish top of the field in an all-Irish high jump. Athboy’s Rosemary Daniels and Grainne Moggan, the national senior schools champion, both cleared 1.70.

The Irish Milers Club’s duel with their British counterparts saw Ricky Stephenson take advantage of the excellent pacemakers to draw right away from the rest of the field.

He maintained his advantage over the final lap to win impressively, just a fraction off breaking the four-minute mile (4:00.34).

It was a British one-two, with Adam Bowden clocking 4:03.01 for second, while Rory Chesser was the best Irish finisher in third (4:04.38).