Ireland's world-class race walkers ramped up their build-up to the European Championships in July with two top-six finishes and personal bests at the IAAF 10km Challenge in Kracow, WRITES CLIONA FOLEY.
World 20km silver medallist Olive Loughnane finished fifth in
44mins 8secs in the race won by World and Olympic champion Olga Kaniskina in 43.03.
Cork's Robert Heffernan broke 40 minutes for the first time since 2005 when he was sixth in a personal best of 39.21 in the men's race, which was won by China's Yafei Chu in 38:40.
Ireland's 50km specialist Jamie Costin also broke 40 minutes for the first time when 11th in 39.56.
Paul Hession (Athenry) opened his season with a 10.46 in the 100m heats in Hengelo, but failed to make the final, while Rose Anne Galligan secured the European Championship 800m qualification standard (2:02.50) with her new PB of 2:02.39 when winning at the British Milers Club in Manchester.
Mark Patterson and Paul Robinson qualified for the World Juniors with times of 1:50.41 and 1:50.92 at the same meeting, while Celbridge's Claire Brady smashed her 100m PB when winning the Palafrugell meet in Spain in 11.60.