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Hession Fastest In Europe

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Paul Hession (Athenry A.C.) became the fastest man in Europe over 200m this year at the 2nd European Team Championships (1st League) in Budapest today. Hession powered home to victory and registered a time of 20.46 which secures the position as the fastest in Europe behind Leon Baptiste (GBR) 20.53 and Christophe Lamaitre (FRA) 20.56. The Athenry man is coming to form at the correct stage in the season and looks to be motoring ahead of the Woodie’s DIY National Senior Track and Field and the European Championship in Barcelona.

 The Irish athletes are registering some very strong performances especially in the track events in what is a top class field of European athletes.

At the end of day 2 the Irish team finished in a very credible 8th position from 12 starting teams on 222 points. The team will remain in League One which was dominated by the Czech Republic, clear in 1st on 345 points. The Czech Republic along with Sweden (345 points) and Portugal (292 points) have secured promotion from League one.

Derval O’Rourke (Leevale A.C.)  produced a season’s best performance early in day running 12.80 (+2.1) to finish in 2nd position in a strong field of athletes just behind Nevin Yanit of Turkey (12.74). This performance is a big mental boost for O’Rourke ahead of the European Championships having beaten rival Susanna Kallur (SWE) into 4th position (12.88).

Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank A.C.) added to Ireland’s domination in the sprints event by finishing 2nd in the 200m (23.30). Whelan took a massive chunk off her previous best time of 23.83. This time moves her into 3rd position on the Irish All Time List, just ahead of Joanne Cuddihy (Kilkenny City Harriers A.C). The young Waterford athlete is in flying form and with youth on her side she will be one to watch in the future.

Thomas Chmaney (Crusader’s A.C.) came through strong to take the 800m nearing the close of competition. Chamney secured valuable points and a priceless championship in a time of 1.47.86.

Competing at the start of the 2nd day, Aoife Hickey (Kilkenny City Harriers A.C.) is showing increasing promise in the hammer. The 19 year old threw a season’s best performance of 54.25m and just landed just short of the World Junior qualifying standard of 55.00m.

Kelly McNeice (Lisburn A.C) produced a fine run in the women’s 1500m finishing in 6th and equalling her season’s best performance of 4.16. McNeice raced and battled bravely after incurring an Achilles injury during the race.

Both the men’s and women’s 4x400m relay finished in 6th position. The men’s team was David Gillick (DSD A.C.), Gordon Kennedy (Tullamore Harriers A.C.), Brian Murphy (UCC A.C.) and Nick Hogan (DSD A.C) clocked 3:07.07. The women’s team registered 3.35.44 and consisted of Marian Andrews (Togher A.C), Brona Furlong (Slaney Olympic AC), Justine Kinney and Michelle Carey (Loughborough TC).

Nearing the end of competition team manager Patsy McGonagle was delighted with all performances and insists that ‘we will maintain our league 1 status with aim of a top 5 finish in next year’s competition’. Mcgonagle went on to say that “in my 15 years of involvement in Irish athletics, this is the strongest team display I have a witnessed”.

 

Final Results:

1

Czech Republic

311.5

2

Sweden

277.5

3

Portugal

257.5

4

Romania

246

5

the Netherlands

229.5

6

Hungary

227

7

Belgium

221

8

Ireland

202.5

9

Turkey

179

10

Slovenia

178.5

11

Lithuania

163

12

Estonia

151