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Olympic champion to coach Irish

FORMER Olympic champion Szymon Ziólkowski of Poland will coach the best of Irish hammer throwers at a two-day throws training squad in Tullamore and Dublin this weekend.

Ziólkowski, the 2000 Olympic champion, has lost none of his appetite for training - he made the hammer final in London a few months ago, aged 36. Joining him is Irish javelin throwing legend Terry McHugh, Info throws@athleticsireland.ie.

Tom Brennan 5km race entry open

Entry is now open for the Tom Brennan Memorial New Year's Day 5km in Dublin's Phoenix Park (12 noon) - an ideal way to start the New Year on the right foot! While most people will aim simply to finish, the course has produced fast times. Last year, Fionnuala Britton set a new women's course record of 16 mins 12 sec, while John Coghlan improved the men's mark to 14 mins 33 secs. Online entry at www.liffeyvalleyac.com

Conway wins Meet and Train race

Newcomer Caroline Conway of Sportsworld won the second round of the Women's Meet & Train Winter League hosted by Fingallians in a drizzly Swords. Donore's Meabh Pevoy was second and Nicola Kavanagh of Sportsworld third. The next race is a first ever at Bushy Park on Sunday, January 13.

Robinson Jingles to Bells victory

Paul Robinson of St Coca's and DSD's Linda Byrne were the winners of the Jingle Bells 5km held on a glorious day in Dublin's Phoenix Park.

Robinson outsprinted Tom Fitzpatrick of Tallaght to finish in a fast time of 14 mins 18 secs. MSB's John Coghlan was third. Linda Byrne, using the race as a final blow-out before the European Cross-Country, was chased home by the in-form Kerry Harty of Newcastle.

A very special finisher was Sarah Nagle, who walked the course in memory of her late husband Joe. Before his untimely death in August, Joe was a mainstay of the race, always dressed for the part.

Harty joy on half marathon return

Philip Harty, back with his original club West Waterford, scored a notable win over Clonliffe's Gary O'Hanlon at the Waterford Half Marathon, winning with a five second margin in 67 mins 29 secs. First woman in 80 mins 36 secs was Clonmel's Angela McCann.

Family duo lead Malahide trials

At the Parkrun 5km in the grounds of Malahide Castle, Eoin Brady and Annette Kealy, who live nearby, made it a family double. Well over 200 runners of all standards again turned out for this free time trial, which is clearly striking the right note in these cash-strapped times.