Wick­low ath­letes to com­pete in Euro­peans

ATH­LET­ICS DEIRDRE AND ROISIN ON IR­ISH TEAM

Bray People - - Bray Sport -

WICK­LOW ATH­LETES Deirdre Byrne and Roisin McGet­ti­gan have been se­lected by Ath­let­ics Ire­land for the Euro­pean In­door Cham­pi­onships, which take place in Turin, Italy from the 6th to the 8th March.

McGet­ti­gan has been one of Ire­land’s most con­sis­tent mid­dle dis­tance run­ners over the past 12 months. An Olympic fi­nal­ist in Bei­jing, McGet­ti­gan raced spar­ingly in 2008 but still man­aged to take the Woodie’s DIY Na­tional Track and Field ti­tle over 1500m.

She put in a hugely im­pres­sive per­for­mance in her Olympic semi-fi­nal be­fore ill­ness struck ahead of her fi­nal ap­pear­ance and ham­pered her abil­ity to per­form in the fi­nal.

The Sli Chu­lainn AC ath­lete, who is trained by Ray Treacy in Prov­i­dence in the US, made an im­pres­sive start to this year. Last week­end she set a new Ir­ish in­door mile record at the Bos­ton Games in a time of 4.30.06 and will hope to con­tinue this form in Turin.

Club-mate, Deirdre Byrne has also shown some good form this year.

It was Byrne’s per­for­mance at the Woodie’s DIY Na­tional In­doors in Belfast that guar­an­teed her a place in Turin.

She won the 3000m in a time of 9.04.74, tak­ing over seven sec­onds off her per­vi­ous best and she will be hop­ing to im­prove on this again next month.

The Ir­ish team is dom­i­nated by fe­male ath­letes with Olympic semi-fi­nal­ist Paul Hes­sion the only male ath­lete se­lected on the team so far.

Other ath­letes, in­clud­ing dou­ble Euro­pean In­door Cham­pion David Gil­lick, may be added to the team ahead of the March 1st cut-off point.

Lee­vale’s Der­val O’Rourke, who is re­turn­ing to form, is se­lected to run in the 60m Hur­dles af­ter she ran a sea­son’s best 8.12 at the Woodie’s DIY Na­tional In­door Cham­pi­onships last week­end in Belfast.

Mar­ian An­drews of Togher A.C and Brona Fur­long of Slaney Olympic will com­pete the 400m in Italy. Both ath­letes showed im­pres­sive form at the week­end when set­ting per­sonal bests for the 400m in Belfast.

An­drews and Fur­long will be joined by Gemma Hynes (Gal­way City Har­ri­ers A.C..), Claire Ber­gin (Dun­drum South Dublin A.C.) and Chris­tine McMa­hon (Bal­ly­mena & Antrim A.C.) for the 4 X 400m Re­lay.

North Sligo AC’s Mary Cullen, who is in­cluded in the squad, showed her po­ten­tial in Bos­ton too as she came within a sec­ond of So­nia O’Sul­li­van’s Ir­ish 5000m record. Cullen, who is in ex­cel­lent form af­ter her fourth place fin­ish at the Euro­pean Cross Coun­try be­fore Christ­mas, will race in the 3000m.

In the field events, Kelly Proper, ( Fer­ry­bank A.C) has been re­warded with a place on the team fol­low­ing her bril­liant week­end per­for­mance when she equalled her women’s long jump Ir­ish Record of 6.32 me­tres.

Mean­while Deirdre Ryan, (DSD) hopes to con­tinue her good form in Turin, build­ing on the per­sonal best she set when break­ing the women’s Ir­ish High Jump Record clear­ing 1.93m in Ger­many last month.

‘This Ir­ish team is a com­bi­na­tion of ex­pe­ri­enced and emerg­ing ath­letes. For many ath­letes on the team this will be their first time to com­pete at a ma­jor se­nior cham­pi­onships and this will act as an im­por­tant de­vel­op­ment ex­pe­ri­ence for them. In the past we have been very suc­cess­ful at th­ese cham­pi­onships and we can ex­pect to again have some ex­cit­ing per­for­mances and the pos­si­bil­ity of bring­ing home medals,’ said Ath­let­ics Ire­land CEO, Mary Cogh­lan.

Deirdre Byrne

Roisin McGet­ti­gan

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