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O'Flaherty's persistence pays off in spades

Thomas Barr may have opted to save his energy for the European Team Championships this weekend, but there were still plenty of good races at the second Le Cheile IMC International held in Leixlip.

In the women's 1500m, a personal best time of 4:12.79 for Newcastle's Kerry O'Flaherty proved that persistence pays off. O'Flaherty, who started her athletics career as a mountain runner, was improving on a time she had set in 2009 - six years ago.

Using her mountain running strength, she's been concentrating on the steeplechase for the past few seasons and, just four days before coming to Leixlip, had set a new personal best for that event of 9:51.64 at an event in Huelva Spain.

Most impressive in Leixlip was O'Flaherty's storming finish which put her second behind New Zealand visitor Angela Petty who won the race in 4:08.54.

"I needed a confidence builder so I'm delighted that I passed Melissa Courtney on the last lap for second. It's a lot tougher in the steeplechase - you're thinking that you might need the energy for the barriers. That's what happened in Spain, where I think I could have gone faster."

With a qualifying mark of nine minutes 45 seconds for Rio '16 her target, O'Flaherty plans on two more steeplechases this season - Madrid on July 7 and then the National Championships.

A closely fought men's 1500m was won by English visitor Tom Lancashire  in 3:40.04. Donore's John Travers finished a fighting second in 3:41.43.

Leixlip Meet