Thursday 18 January 2018

Budding athletes set the bar high at games

Denise Clarke

IT was just a matter of sprinting in their proud mother's footsteps.

Siblings Marcus and Grace Lawlor ran across the finishing line first in their respective races and clinched gold for their county yesterday.

The pair, from Tinryland, Bennekerry, Co Carlow, were shattered but all smiles when they placed first in their events.

And it was a case of keeping it in the family as their mother is former international athlete, Patricia Ammond.

Marcus (15) who won the U-16 100m boys sprint at the HSE Community Games Finals told the Irish Independent he was "thrilled" with the result.

"This is my first race back for a while," he said. "I twisted my ankle playing football and was out injured for around eight weeks.

"I wasn't expecting to win today, I would have been delighted with a medal, but to win gold is even better.

"My mother Patricia ran for Ireland so it's been my inspiration," he said.

An overjoyed Grace, who won gold in the U-14 girls sprint, said she was "very tired" after the race.

"I trained hard for it and the competition was very tough so I'm delighted I won," she added.

And the 13-year-old joked that "it's in the genes".

Athlone Institute of Technology was transformed into a rainbow of colours yesterday for the 42nd annual Community Games finals.

Families from every county in Ireland flocked to the midland town to support the 3,000 competitors.

Emily Rogers leapt 1.65 metres into the air to win gold in the girls' high jump.

"I'm feeling great. I didn't think I'd win," the 16-year-old from Louth said

Margaret Bolton, HSE Community Games PR and marketing director, told the Irish Independent that the athletics weekend was "always considered the highlight of the festival because there's loads of activity and bigger excitement".

"We are thrilled with how it's going. It's been a brilliant weekend," she added.

Irish Independent

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