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Brilliant third for versatile Kate


Kate O’Connor. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Kate O’Connor. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Kate O’Connor. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Kate O'Connor of St Gerard's, Dundalk finished a brilliant third at the European Combined Events Team Championships 2nd League, in Monzon, Spain.

O'Connor, aged just 16, was fifth overnight in the women's heptathlon after the hurdles, high jump, shot and 200m on day one.

After the long jump and her specialist javelin on day two, she was lying fourth and a superb time of of 2:17. 30 in the final 800m moved her into third place by just ten points.

Personal bests in the hurdles, high jump and shot helped her to a best ever score of 5,632 points, only marginally behind the Irish record of 5,669 points set by Elizabeth Morland of Cushinstown AC in the Canaries last month.

That's inside the qualifying marks for both the European Junior and U23 Championships in the next few weeks. With an Northern Irish granny, it also qualifies her for next year's Commonwealth Games in Brisbane. Finishing a fighting 16th was Amy McTeggart of Boyne AC.

In the men's competition, Michael Bowler of Enniscorthy finished fifth with a personal best of 7.032 points.

Bowler, a student based in England, had started the day with a strong performance in the hurdles where he finished in 15.22 seconds - the joint fastest time of the day. Although he dropped points in the discus, he held his own in the plot vault, javelin and 1500m.

Produing a consistent performance to finish 13th with a total of 6,564 points was Shane Aston of Trim AC, while finishing 19th was Rolus Olusa of Clonliffe Harriers, at 20 the youngest member of the men's team. He ended up on 5,885 points.