Deirdre cap­tures Ir­ish in­door ti­tle

ATH­LET­ICS JOY FOR WICK­LOW RUN­NER IN BELFAST

Bray People - - Sports - Mark KENNEDY

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.

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