independent

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Sprinter Sophie's European debut

New Ross runner competes against Europe's best gaining big competition experience

Sophie Becker in Glasgow.
Sophie Becker in Glasgow.

David Looby

A New Ross athlete who achieved an amazing three personal bests seeing her qualify for the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow, was knocked out in the heats.

Sophie Becker, 21, from Landscape, Ballykelly, qualified for the European Senior Indoors in Glasgow in the 400 metres at the Irish finals last month, making her senior European debut.

She gained huge experience at the event, coming in at 53.99 seconds, and is on track to represent Ireland in the U23 European championships in Sweden this July in the 60m, 200m and 400m categories.

In the national finals Sophie got a personal best in the 60m, 200m and 400m, with a time of 53.66 in the latter. The St Joseph's Athletic Club runner is now ranked seventh in the all time Irish indoor list having achieved a personal best in the race.

She joined Olympian Thomas Barr and around a dozen other athletes on the Irish team in Glasgow.

Sophie, who studied Genetics and Cell Biology, moved to Dublin to train under coach Jeremy Lyons.

She was among a strong Irish team of 16 athletes selected for the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Glasgow,

At the halfway point of the championships the Irish interest was been whittled from 16 athletes to just two, with Ciara Mageean and Mark English the sole survivors.

Up stepped Ciara Mageean and Donegal athlete Mark English who secured bronze medals on the athletics track, while cyclist Lydia Boylan won a silver medal in the women's points race.

Mageean was pipped to second place as she clocked 4:09.43 in the women's 1500m race won by Great Britain's Laura Muir in 4:05.92. Poland's Sofia Ennaoui claimed the silver medal.

Sophie has the Tokyo Olympics in her sights having competed in international competitions in the Irish tricolour.

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