Sunday 16 June 2019

It's Proper order as Kelly beats record

Kelly Proper of Ferrybank crosses the line to win the Women's 200m at the Woodie’s DIY National Senior Indoor Track and Field Championships in Athlone.
Kelly Proper of Ferrybank crosses the line to win the Women's 200m at the Woodie’s DIY National Senior Indoor Track and Field Championships in Athlone.
Kelly Proper in the sand en route to winning the long-jump

Kelly Proper of Waterford club Ferrybank became Ireland's most prolific winner of indoor titles when she won both the long jump and 200m at the Woodie's DIY National Indoors in Athlone

On the opening day of competition, she had equalled race walker Robert Heffernan's record of 15 indoor titles when she won the long jump. A day later, she passed him out when she added the 200m to her haul – and at the age of only 25, she's not finished yet.

In the long jump, she marginally fouled a jump of 6.70, which would have been a personal best. Her best legal leap of 6.35m was still a stadium record.

A day later, she won the 200m with ease, improving her best time to 23.56 – another stadium record and enough to put her third on the all-time Irish list.

"It's been amazing. The 200m is going really well and I'm close to my best in the long jump. I had a great outdoors last year and winter training went really well," said Proper, who is also the current Irish heptathlon record holder.

"I'll have a few more races indoors and then I'll be looking for the European Championships B standard of 23.65 for 200m and also the long jump standard."

Sprinter Amy Foster of Lisburn booked her place at the World Indoors in Poland next month.

She finally found the one-hundredth of a second she needed when she won the 60m in 7.32 secs.

Foster's experience saw her ease away from 19-year-old Phil Healy from Bandon after a slightly slow start.

In the women's 800m, the late withdrawal of Rose Anne Galligan of Newbridge meant that UCD's Ciara Everard had to do it all on her own. Her Irish indoor record of 2:02.54 from last year qualifies her for the World Indoors but, after a long battle with injury, she needed to prove her fitness to the selectors.

Running what turned into a solo time trial in 2:06.22 was not ideal, but with two more races to come, she is certain she can improve enough to book selection.

Another athlete running solo was David McCarthy, who had clocked a superb 3:39.14 for 1500m at the AAI Indoors Games a few weeks ago, well inside the World Indoors mark of 3.41. He was 10 seconds slower than that yesterday, but clearly the class of the field.

Improving his national junior 200m record to 21.19 was Marcus Lawler of the St Laurence O'Toole's club in Carlow. In a race where the average age was 20, 17-year-old Zac Irwin of Sligo finished an impressive second place.

Sarah Lavin may be only two years older than Irwin, but she had made her mark in 2013 when she won her first 60m hurdles title in Athlone. Now running for UCD, she looked every inch Deval O'Rourke's natural successor when she successfully defended her title with a time of 8.33.

Race of the day was the men's 400m, where Thomas Barr of Ferrybank, one of only two men to have gone under 50 seconds for the 400m hurdles, hauled in early leader Richard Morrisey of Crusaders to win in 47.05.

In the women's shot put, Tralee woman Claire Fitzgerald came tantalisingly close to the 15m barrier with a 14.95m effort – a personal best and a stadium record. The men's pole vault saw Ian Rogers beat his Clonliffe team-mate David Donegan, who was going for a 10th national title, while in the women's pole vault Zoe Brown of Raheny improved her best to 4.31.

  • At the Millrose Games in New York, world 50km champion Rob Heffernan from Togher finished second in the men's mile walk in 5:39.75. Winner was Sweden's Andreas Gustafsson in 5:34.45.

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