Dubliners on fire on Euro indoor scene

by Stephen Findlater

Dubliners were at the heart of an incredible series of results for Irish middle-distance running this week with a series of runners hitting qualifying times for the European Indoor Championships. 

DSDAC’s Siofra Clerigh-Buttner put in a personal best with an impressive 4:09:67 in a high class 1500m field at the World Indoor Tour in Boston on Saturday when she finished third. 

This stunning performance places her second on the Irish all-time 1,500m indoor listings with only Ciara Mageean going quicker in January 2020. 

Raheny Shamrock’s Brian Fay set a new club indoor 1,500m record of 3:41.73 seconds when winning out at the Val de Reuil meet in France. 

A very strong front running performance from Fay saw him edge out fellow Dubliner Luke McCann for victory, holding McCann off from 300 metres out, to break his own 12-month-old personal best. 

The time is inside the qualifying standard for next month’s Euros in Torun, Poland, meaning Fay now has the standard for both the 3,000 and 1500 metres. 

At the same meet, fellow Raheny runner Iseult O’Donnell was a late call-up and posted 2:04.22 over 800m, a very solid performance having posted a new club record only 24 hours earlier in Val d’Oise, also in France. 

There, she finished in 2:03.27, winning the race and hitting her Euro qualification standard. It is another Raheny club record, bettering Siobhan Eviston’s previous best by 0.40 seconds which was set in 2013. 

Nadia Power continues her blistering start to 2021 with a first-place finish (2:02:83) at the IFAM Gent Indoor meeting in Belgium. 

It continued her excellent sequence of results, breaking the Irish indoor record in Vienna. This run was just outside that mark but Power was thrilled with running a composed race, finishing well clear of Germany’s Tanja Spill and Italy’s Elena Bello.  

Clonliffe Harriers Luke Lennon-Ford was eighth overall in the 400 in Gent in 48.48 while his club mate Hope Saunders raced an indoor mile on Friday for Wichita State at Washburn University, finishing 14th overall in 5.10.39. 

On home turf, meanwhile, Athletics Ireland has secured Government approval for an indoor micro meet to take place for invited high performance athletes in the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena this weekend. 

This meet will allow for “a Covid-19 compliant event for European Indoor qualification purposes and for the attainment of Category E World Ranking points for all those athletes working towards Tokyo qualification”.  

Hamish Adams, CEO of Athletics Ireland notes “It is a privilege for us to be allowed to host this micro event and we thank Sport Ireland and the Government for their backing and trust of Athletics Ireland.  

“This event has been planned and negotiated over many weeks and we have committed to delivering an event of the highest safety standard to ensure the health status of all involved and that of our nation is protected.” 

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