Irish flyer Healy wins prestigious European award
Bandon sprinter Phil Healy has been named European female athlete of the month for January, the first time in five years an Irishwoman has won the prize.
The 23-year- old enjoyed a massive breakthrough last month, when clocking 52.08 for 400m in Vienna, hacking more than a second off her previous best of 53.15.
Healy beat strong opposition to claim the title, including reigning world high-jump champion Mariya Lasitskene of Russia. The award was decided by a social-media vote, with Healy netting more than 2,000 votes across Facebook and Twitter, almost five times that of winner Karsten Warholm. It’s the first time since Fionnuala Mccormack in March 2013 that an Irishwoman has won the award, with Thomas Barr the most recent Irish male winner in April 2015.
Under the guidance of coach Shane Mccormack, Healy has made giant strides in recent years, as she transitions from the short sprints to the 400m.
Last weekend, she continued her fine run of form by finishing third in a world-class 400m in Karlsruhe, Germany, in 52.67.
Her chief target now will be the National Indoor Championmen’s ships in Abbotstown (February 17-18), after which she will turn her attention to next month’s IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham.