Sprinters defy odds to smash record
Irish sprinters broke new ground at the IAAF World U20 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland, over the weekend, the women's 4x100m team finishing a remarkable fifth in the world final, smashing the Irish U20 record with their time of 44.82.
The quartet of Molly Scott, Sharlene Mawdsley, Gina Akpe-Moses and Ciara Neville remained in medal contention for much of the race, eventually missing out on fourth place by just 0.01 and carving 0.27 off the national record. The race was won by the United States in 43.69.
"I don't think we could have asked for any better," said Scott. "We smashed the national record and defied a lot of rankings."
There was no such joy for 5,000m runners Pierre Murchan and Jack O'Leary. In a race won by Ethiopia's Selemon Barega in 13:21.21, Murchan finished 22nd in 14:38.67, while O'Leary came home 25th in 14:50.67.
There was another breakthrough performance at the London Diamond League, where Rio-bound Sara Treacy clocked a big personal best of 9:39.41 to finish sixth in the 3,000m steeplechase, which moved her to number three on the Irish all-time list.
Back at home, Raheny's Mick Clohisey continued his build-up for the Olympic marathon by winning the Fingal 10km in Swords, his time of 30:24 coming home 21 seconds ahead of national 10,000m champion Brandon Hargreaves.
Laura Graham of Mourne Runners was the first woman home in 35:26.
A rake of championship records were set at the GloHealth National Juvenile Championships in Tullamore: Brendan O'Donnell continued his fine form with a best of 67.62m to win the U18 hammer, Fintan Steward ran 8:50.79 to win the U18 boys' 3,000m, while Fathi Aden clocked 9:16.41 to win the U16 boys' 3,000m. Aaron Sexton of North Down clocked the fastest time of the day to win the boys' U17 100m in 11.03, while Rachel Keane was the fastest girl, running 12.21 to win the U18 100m.