Deirdre captures Irish indoor title
ATHLETICS JOY FOR WICKLOW RUNNER IN BELFAST
DEIRDRE BYRNE ran the race of her life at the weekend.
In the Woodies DIY Irish indoor athletics championships in Belfast the Arklow ‘rocket’ set a new personal best time when winning the 3000 metres in style.
Shaving a whopping nine seconds off her previous PBT for the 3000 metres, Deirdre qualified for the European indoor championships in Turin in March when finishing in a smashing time of 9minutes. 04.
This was one second inside the European qualifying time of 9.04 and that is a major coup for Deirdre Byrne, putting her up there amongst the elite runners in Europe.
Since the start of the year the Arklow athlete, who runs in the strip of the Sli Cualann Club, has been showing terrific form on the athletic circuits as evidence by the fact that in cross country earlier this season she put strong pressure on Stephanie Twell, who is being talked of as the next Paula Radcliffe.
Last year Deirdre also made a big impression in the 1500 metres when finishing in a time of 4.08 which was just a few seconds off world class running, again an indicator that she is doing the business this year.
Whether competing in cross-country or on road, Deirdre is a very strong athlete and expect her to get her time for the 1500 metres below 4.05 very soon.
For the moment, however, her sights will be focussed on the European indoors which take place in Turin on March 6-8 and joining her there will be 400 metre athlete David Gillick from Dublin, whose family hails from Aughrim.
Donna Carolan finished second in the in the 3 kilometre Walk in Belfast, addding to the collection of national medals for Wicklow athletes.
Meanwhile, at the weekend over in Boston, Roisin McGettigan from Wicklow town finished fourth in the mile event, running a time of 4:30.06, which translates roughly into 4:10 for the 1500 metres, showing that she too is maintaining her form.
Maintaining that level of improvement over the coming seasons would make Roisin McGettigan and Deirdre Byrne hot prospects for the 2012 Olympics in London.
Meanwhile, Fionnuala Britton from Brittas Bay, who has overcome a bone reaction in an ankle, is now awaiting the all clear to return to training.
Deirdre Byrne, Sli Cualann AC, winner of the Womens 3000 metres final at the Woodie's DIY/AAI Senior Irish Indoor Athletics Championships in the Odyssey Arena in Belfast.