Young Irish hammer thrower makes final at World Juniors
Teenage hammer thrower Emma O’Hara has become the first Irish athlete to reach a final at the World Junior T&F Championships in Oregon.
The British-born thrower, who is on scholarship in America but competes for Galway CH, where her parents hail from, went into the competition ranked 15th but made the top 12 final with 57.17m.
The qualifying mark was 59.50 but O'Hara's second throw was enough to get her into the top dozen from two qualifying groups and the final takes place place at 1.30am tomorrow (Thurs) morning.
“I thought it was all over after I finished throwing, I didn’t think it would be good enough for qualification," the delighted thrower said.
Her personal best is 58.98m and she hopes to beat that in the final.
On the first day of competition DSD's Siofra Cleirigh Buttner and Newry's Aislinn Crossey were also in action but both failed to get out of their 800m heats.
Cléirigh Buttner was fifth in her race in 2:08.50, well below her 2:03.81 personal best while Crossey was last in her heat in 2:08:06. The slowest time to make the final was 2:07.04 and the fastest qualifier was Iceland's World Youth champion Anita Hinriksdottir who ran 2:03.4.
Cléirigh Buttner will also compete in the women’s 1500m heats on Friday, which take place at 8:15pm Irish time.
Next into qualifying for Ireland tomorrow (Thurs) are sprinters Marcus Lawler (St Laurence O'Toole, Carlow) and Sligo's Zac Irwin who both compete in the 200m heats (6.45pm) and Kilkenny City Harrier's Cliodhna Manning and Ferrybank's Niamh McNichol who compete in the girls' equivalent at 7.35pm.
The IAAF World Juniors attract the best U20 athletes in the world and it was at this event, in 2002, that Usain Bolt first hit the headlines after winning 200m gold when he was still only 15 years of age.