Friday 23 March 2018

Athlete stripped of title wins medal she can keep

Olivia Kelleher

A YOUNG athlete who was stripped of a national title earlier this month when it emerged she was too young to compete scooped gold at the weekend.

Last week, Dundrum South Dublin Athletics Club issued a statement apologising to Athletics Ireland following the controversy concerning Siofra Clerigh-Buttner (14), winner of the junior girls' title at the National Cross-Country Championships.

According to the rules, an athlete must be at least 16 to compete in the 6,000m event but this was overlooked when her entry was filed by the club. Even with the two-year age difference, Siofra raced past her more experienced competitors on March 7 to win by a 45-second margin.

In Cork on Saturday, Siofra competed in the Irish Schools and Colleges Cross-Country Championships. Representing Blackrock's Colaiste Iosagain, she emerged the clear winner coming in at a time of seven minutes -- 19 seconds ahead of her nearest rival, Jean Clancy. Siofra, who turns 15 in July, has been tipped as an athlete to watch in the coming years.

Irish Independent

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