Wednesday 13 December 2017

Athletics: Veale's star stays on rise with bronze

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

THERE was major disappointment for Olive Loughnane and Robert Heffernan at the European Race Walking Cup in Portugal, but some consolation for Ireland in the medal-winning performance of rising West Waterford star Kate Veale.

Veale (17) knocked 11 seconds off her own Irish record when taking bronze in the junior 10km race in 46:32.

But Loughnane was most unlucky in the senior women's 20km. The Galway star was second when she was disqualified on the last lap for 'lifting.'

She had received her first yellow card after 11km and was unaware where she had picked up her second.

"I'm not sure if I would have caught the Russian but it would have been close," Loughnane said. "I was hunting the gold and maybe I was hunting a little too hard, but I will bounce back and it will come together soon for me."

There was disappointment too for fellow Olympian Heffernan, who had to settle for 10th in the men's 20km.

Brendan Boyce (Letterkenny) and Michael Doyle (Tara) were 29th and 33rd in men's senior; Mohill's Laura Reynolds was 21st in women's senior.

In the junior men's 10km, Clonmel AC's Evan Lynch was 24th, while Colin Griffin (Ballinamore) had to drop out of the men's 50km with injury.

Elswhere, Tori Pena (Finn Valley) equalled her new Irish pole vault record of 4.30m for a second week in a row and young Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner (Colaiste Iosagain) became the fastest Irish girl over 800m this year at the Aviva Leinster Schools.

Her time of 2:08.27 broke a 28-year-old schools record by four seconds, and she also won the intermediate 1,500m title in 5:02:48.

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