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Anne Gilshinan is on top of world again as she wins gold in Finland


Anne Gilshinan on her way to gold in Tampere, Finland.

Anne Gilshinan on her way to gold in Tampere, Finland.

Anne Gilshinan on her way to gold in Tampere, Finland.


ANNE GILSHINAN continued her winning ways at the World Masters Athletics Championships at Tampere, Finland.

Her gold medal came in the W55 800 metres, her time 2.21.16 minutes. The multiple world record holder ran the same time at the European Masters Indoor Championships in Braga last February on her way to winning three middle distance gold medals.

Anne is also entered in the 1,500 metres in Tampere. Her 4.46 minutes personal best is eight seconds faster than the next fastest, so she will be quietly hoping for further success.

The Cavan-born athlete, now living in Bridgetown, is something of a poster girl for Irish Masters athletics given her success on the European and world stages. In 2019, she was European and world women’s masters middle distance athlete of the year.

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Life for Masters athletes starts at 35. The age categories run in blocks of five years, the first being 35-39 and continuing right up to 100+.

Anne, a very talented juvenile runner, turned her back on the world of competitive athletics for many years. Her return to the sport she loves is living proof of the indomitable and irrepressible nature of the human spirit.

There was barely room to put a shot or launch a turbo javelin at the Tullamore Harriers Stadium on Saturday, such was the turn-out for the AAI children’s team games. A very busy programme was made even busier by the inclusion of national Under-12 and Under-13 field events and relays.

Bree’s Ava Wilson cleared 1.48 metres in Under-12 high jump to win by 10cm, in the process establishing a new championship best performance (CBP). She was also fourth in long jump with a new personal best of 4.39 metres.

Her clubmate Sarah O’Brien jumped out of her skin in Under-13 high jump, clearing 1.52 metres to win a silver medal. It took a CBP of 1.55 metres to beat her.

Alan Power of Kilmore was joint fifth in Under-12 high jump with 1.30 metres. He was seventh in long jump (3.85m). Alan also competed in turbo javelin.

In the Under-9 boys’ 60 metres sprint pairs, the United Striders duo of Darragh Kavanagh and Tom O’Brien were fifth and eighth in their respective heats, placing them fourth overall.

In the Under-10 boys’ event, Enniscorthy’s Matthew Bowe and Conor Larkin were second and fourth in their heats, fifth overall.

In the Under-10 long jump pairs, Conor, joined this time by Donnacha Maher, made it onto the podium in the bronze medal position.

There was a second day of juvenile competition in Tullamore on Sunday, with the venue hosting the first of two full days of All-Ireland track and field competition.

Elijah Page-Redmond of Menapians was third in Under-14 javelin (39.95m), while clubmate Josh Nolan was eleventh.

Bree’s Léa Bolger won a silver medal in Under-14 hammer with 31.46 metres, a PB. She also ran 75m hurdles, without progressing to the final.

Bree has always been strong in sprint hurdles. Two of their young stars, Shane Laffan (Under-13) and Jayden Kenny (Under-14), placed fifth in their respective finals, both achieving PBs.

The club’s Kiera Wilson was also fifth in the Under-15 80m hurdles final, while her friend and colleague Ciara Laffan, unable to deliver the same zip she showed in qualifying, was seventh in the same race. Cameron Sheil of St. Killian’s was eighth in the Under-15 80m hurdles final.

Joss O’Connor of United Striders placed seventh in his Under-15 800m heat. DMP’s Cara Kelly was 15th in the Under-17 long jump (4.27m).

From the same club, Rachel Gregg was fifth in the Under-19 triple jump (10.12m).

Having met with multiple success at the Wexford championships earlier in the week, Enniscorthy’s talented combined eventer Saidhbhe Byrne was fifth in a competitive Under-19 shot put (9.42m).

Neasa Long of Enniscorthy was seventh in the Under-14 high jump with 1.40 metres. Donny McDonald of Adamstown was seventh in the Under-18 3,000 metres steeplechase.

Fixtures: July 6, Mr Oil Wexford Senior/Masters/Under-18 and Under-19 track and field championships (2), Enniscorthy; July 9, Irish Life Health national Juvenile track and field day two, Tullamore; July 9, Kilmore Quay Seafood Festival 5k road race.