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Barr hurdles to A new best

WITH the European Team Championships coming up at the end of the month, the selectors will have plenty to think about if results from the past week are anything to go by.

Leading them off was Ferrybank's Thomas Barr who improved his own Irish 400m hurdles record at the Diamond League Meet in Roma. A blistering finish and a time of 48.65 secs saw him finish fourth and given the same time as the third placer. Barr is the only Irish athlete competing on the Diamond League circuit.

A large group of athletes headed for Geneva where the highlight was a victory for Ferrybank's Kelly Proper in the 200m, where her time of 23.26 secs put her top of the current Irish rankings. Lisburn's Amy Foster ran 23.62 secs in the heats.

In the men's 200m heats, Marcus Lawler of St Laurence O'Toole ran a personal best time of 20.74.

Lawler also ran 10.47 secs for the 100m and tops the current rankings for both distances. However there's still a long way to go before anyone approaches Paul Hession's Irish 100m record of 10.18 secs set in 2007.

Making a steady comeback is 400m runner Brian Gregan of Clonliffe. His time of 45.53 secs for sixth place means that after a frustrating year, he's approaching the kind of times he ran in 2013. Running a personal best 47.10 secs was Craig Lynch of Shercock.

Looking strong in the 100m hurdles was Catherine McManus of DCH with a time of 13.92 in the heats.

Hard work by the women's 4x100m quartet of Amy Foster, Stef Creanor, Catherine McManus and Phil Healy paid off when they recorded a time of 44.74 secs - a big improvement on the 45.38 secs this team ran at the World Relay Championships in Nassau last month.

The Irish record of 43.84 secs was set last year, when Foster and Healy were part of the squad along with Kelly Proper and Sarah Lavin.

In the men's 4x100m, Jonathan Browning, Marcus Lawler, Eanna Madden and Stephen Gaffney ran a time of 40.27 secs - a new Irish U23 record and enough to qualify them for the European U23 Championships.

Elsewhere, Kilkenny's Eoin Everard ran a time of 3:41.57 for the 1500m at Regensburg in Germany.


That puts him second fastest this year behind Ciarán ó Lionaird of Leevale, currently recovering from surgery.

In Uppsala, Sweden, Riocht's Laura Crowe finished third in the 800m in an encouraging 2:04.93. Crowe has a time of 2:00.43 from 2013 - the fourth fasted Irish time ever.

At the IMC meet in Tullamore, John Coghlan of MSB broke the nine-minute barrier with a time of 8:58.96 in the 3000m steeplechase. Tom Fitzpatrick of Tallaght won the 3000m in 8:21.88.