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Two National Records for the Irish Team on Day Five of the European Athletics Championships


Press Release European Athletics Championships It was all about the relays as the Irish men’s 4x400m and women’s 4x100m teams both broke the national records on Saturday, 16th of August at the European Athletics Championships in Zurich.

 The men’s team of Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers AC), Brian Murphy (Crusaders AC), Richard Morrissey (Crusaders AC) and Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) needed to finish in the top three positions to be sure of qualification for the final.

Gregan got the team off to the perfect start as he ripped around the track in 45.86 seconds with the Russians, Polish, Belgium and Spanish teams all still in contention. Murphy took over and moved the team up to third place battling all the way down the finishing straight to split 46.75 for his leg.

Morrissey took over on leg three and ran a superb tactical race, holding something back for the first 200m before storming through to hand Ireland over in third place, splitting an impressive 45.56 seconds.

It was all down to Irish 400m Hurdle Record Holder Barr as he took over on the final leg. Barr went all out as he held off the Belgium team to cross the line in third place in a time of 3.03.57. Barr’s split for his leg was a very impressive 45.21.

Commenting afterwards Barr said “It’s brilliant, we had heard that the girl’s had set a national record earlier on so that really spurred us on. We knew we had a really good team and if we gave it our all on the day we would break the national record. Can’t wait for the final now.”

The women’s 4x100m relay team made up of Amy Foster (City of Lisburn AC), Kelly Proper (Ferrybank AC), Sarah Lavin (UCD AC) and Phil Healy (Bandon AC) broke the national record with a time of 43.84 seconds. They finished fourth in their heat however it was only the top three teams that were guaranteed a place in the final. Unfortunately their time wasn’t good enough to make the final as a fastest loser either, they would have required a time of 42.80 to go through.

The changeovers were clean and fast as they broke the old record of 43.93 set in 2010 in Barcelona. Interestingly all four athletes on the team had qualified individually for these championships: Proper – 200m, Lavin – 100m Hurdles – Healy & Foster – 100m which no doubt contributed to the fast time.

Anchor leg runner Healy said “We can’t ask for any more than that, we came out today and broke the national record, the changeovers were good, and the practicing we have been doing has been really good. We will plan for next year with the World Championships to look forward to.”

Taken from Athletics Ireland