It was a great day for many of the Affidea Ireland supported Irish Junior Endurance athletes at the recent Irish Life Health AAI Games in the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena – one of Ireland’s premier indoor meets, with many of the country’s top junior and senior athletes in action.
The day began with an impressive performance by Laura Nicholson, Bandon AC, running one of the fastest indoor 3000m times by a junior in many years; ranking her third on the European u20 Indoor rankings. The 800m women’s race was a chance for our juniors to take on some of the top senior talent and Jo Keane, Ennis Track, produced a massive personal best; putting her second on the European u20 Indoor rankings list.
Next up was Darragh McElhinney, Bantry AC, the Irish Youth record holder over 3000m and again he was in fine form; finishing second and running a new PB which puts him third on the European u20 Indoor rankings. Junior Micheal Power, West Waterford AC, also had a huge 10 second PB to finish in fifth place. Youth athlete Shay McEvoy, KCH, produced a huge PB performance to win the 3000m B race, a big breakthrough for him.
Finally, the best was saved for last with Sarah Healy, Blackrock AC, destroying the field to win the 1500m in an incredible new PB which ranks her number 1 on the European u20 Indoor rankings. This time also bettered the Irish u18 and u20 records held by senior international star Ciara Mageean.
Athletics Ireland National Junior Endurance Coach Steve Macklin said; “It was a superb day for many of our junior athletes, with some breakthrough performances, which augurs well for the summer championships. Sarah Healy’s performance to break two national records held by one of our star senior athletes was particularly incredible! Many of these athletes will be in Alfa Mar Portugal at Easter for our Junior Endurance Camp supported by Affidea Ireland. This camp is critical in our preparations towards this summer’s European Youth T&F and World Junior T&F championships in July.”
Another star performer was Olympian & #AffideaFamily Ambassador Thomas Barr, who won Ireland’s first 400m hurdles race indoors in a stunning 50.50 seconds, which is an Irish best – the seventh best performance ever and the third fastest European performance. Thomas also holds the best Irish outdoor 400m time of 47.97 seconds.
He commented; “The indoor 400mh race was something completely different to any other race I’ve ever done. There were eight hurdles in total as opposed to the outdoor ten hurdles. It had the capacity to be absolute carnage because after the first lap all of us had to cut into lane one, so we were all jumping the same hurdle, which could have ended badly! But myself and my two training partners got through it unscathed, which is the important thing. There haven’t been many races of it run in the world, so hopefully this will be the start of a fun annual event!”
Best of luck to Thomas who’s running a 200m race on February 17th and 18th, with another 400m in the AIT Grand Prix on February 21st.
Yup the cat is officially out of the bag. First time 400mh has appeared on an Irish indoor schedule. Paul Byrne, Ben Kiely and myself going head to head – last event this Sunday! pic.twitter.com/OmG3oZ2eZa
— Thomas Barr (@TomBarr247) January 30, 2018
Some cracking junior Endurance performances at @irishathletics AAI Indoor Games with Sarah Healy breaking the Irish indoor u18 & u20 1500m records and excellent performances by Darragh McElhinney 3000m, Jo Keane 800m, Laura Nicholson 3000m and Shay McEvoy 3000m!!! 🇮🇪🍀 pic.twitter.com/NOkBkl1UcI
— Steven Macklin (@coach_SM) February 4, 2018
Catch up on all the news. It's been a hectic weekend with national records and bests aplenty.@TomBarr247 shined at the @irishlifehealth AAI Indoor Games as did young stars Sarah Healy and @darraghmce with Youth + Junior records
— Athletics Ireland (@irishathletics) February 4, 2018
Anyone interested in taking a look at the first ever indoor 400mH race from today can find it here! https://t.co/bNuaUEZKfu
— Thomas Barr (@TomBarr247) February 4, 2018
Day 3 of the Connacht T&F Squad will take place in AIT Arena, Sunday 11th Feb.
The day kicks off at 11am and will include a talk/Q&A session with Olympic 400mH Athlete @TomBarr247 in the afternoon!
— Athletics Ireland (@irishathletics) February 8, 2018
See our #AffideaFamily Ambassador @TomBarr247 in action! Guaranteed to be a sell out for the 5th year in a row as athletics fans across the country avail of the opportunity to witness some of the world’s best talent on show #AffideaHealth https://t.co/wY7sMikwBT
— Affidea Ireland (@AffideaIreland) February 10, 2018