Wednesday 21 February 2018

Travers off to a flyer in an impressive start to season

John Travers of Ireland. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
John Travers of Ireland. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile Sportsdesk

John Travers made a promising start to his outdoor season, clocking 13:52.67 to win the 5000m at a high-quality Irish Milers Club meeting in Greystones.

The Donore Harrier held off Mark Christie, who was second in 13:55.56, while the next 10 athletes all dipped under 14:20 in a race that showed improving depth for Irish distance running.

Stephen Gaffney impressed with a 10.71 to win the 100m, as did Sophie Becker, who ran 54.62 to win the 400m.

Elsewhere there were a raft of strong performances at the Leevale Open Sports, with 17 qualifiers for youth, junior and U-23 championships later in the summer.

Bandon's Joan Healy impressed with a sprint double, winning the 100m in 11.90 and edging out Sharlene Mawdsley to take the 200m in 24.03. Sommer Lecky was the standout performer in Belfast, the 16-year-old clearing a personal best of 1.82m in the high jump.

Meanwhile, Olympic marathon champion Eliud Kipchoge failed in his bid to complete the first sub-two hour marathon by an agonising 25 seconds in Monza.

The 32-year-old Kenyan - along with fellow elite African athletes Lelisa Desisa and Zersenay Tadese - was hoping to break the barrier exactly 63 years after Roger Bannister became the first person to run a four-minute mile.

Kipchoge took over two-and-a-half minutes off compatriot Dennis Kimetto's world record of 2hrs 02mins 57secs, set at the 2014 Berlin Marathon, but the time won't count because pacemakers were used.

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