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Doherty earns Finn-tastic win

CIARAN DOHERTY of Letterkenny AC proved the star of the Irish team when he won a thrilling M35 3,000m at the World Masters Indoors in Finland.

Doherty crossed the line in 8 minutes 37.45 secs - just holding off the fast-finishing Fabrice Thiery from France.

After setting out fast, Doherty was never out of the top six. With a kilometre to go, he moved up a gear, passing a number of runners over the closing stages.

"I'm so happy that my training has paid off and that I got things right tactically," said Ciaran. "I really couldn't be happier."

The Donegal fisherman is now double world champion after winning the world outdoors steeplechase title in Sacramento, USA last summer.

In total, the Irish brought home 11 medals, three of them gold, underlining the strength of masters athletics here.

Twins Dorothy McLennan and Sheila Champion of Sportworld, mainstays of the team for the past two decades, are our two other world champions.

Dorothy won the over-75 pole vault, while Sheila, who moved into the throws after a couple of strokes a few years ago, won the over-75 javelin.

Sean McMullin of Mullingar Harriers finished second in the M65 3,000m track walk on Thursday in a time of 16:20.73. He followed this up two days later with another silver in the 10km road walk, clocking 56:41.

Cross-country forms part of this competition and Eugene Moynihan took silver in the M55 8km race held in bitterly cold conditions.

Dunleer's Geraldine Finnegan added to her large collection of medals when she finished second in the W45 pentathlon with an impressive total of 3,764 points. She also finished second in both 400m and triple jump and set an Irish W45 record in the hurdles.

A popular bronze medal winner was Anne Gormley of Donore who has been working hard at the walk for some years.

Her time of 65.32 in the W45 10km road was a personal best. Also taking bronze in the M50 road walks was Castleisland's Pat Murphy in 50.28.

Setting a new Irish W50 hammer record and throwing over 30m was Lucy Moore-Fox of DSD, who also set a new Irish best in the weight throw.

Making M40 finals were Thomas Griffin (200m), John Corr (60m), David Grange (800m), and Ian O'Leary (3,000m).

Heroes all of them!