Friday 15 November 2019

Lally gets Ireland off to a flyer

Cliona Foley

Athletics: Galway's Alanna Lally gave Ireland a great start at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Donetsk, Ukraine by smashing her personal best to qualify for the 400m final.

Lally, coached by PJ Coyle, finished second in her heat in 55.15, a huge improvement on her PB of 55.87. Only Jamaica's Tiffany James was ahead of her in 54.66; her time was the 10th fastest of the day, and she automatically qualified for today's final at 5.10.

Leitrim Olympian Laura Reynolds (Mohill) was Ireland's top performer at the World Student Games in Kazan, Russia, where she finished sixth in the 20km walk.

The leaders passed through the half-way mark in 46.30 with Reynolds back in sixth place in 46.41 and she held her position to finish in a season's best of 1:33:31, exactly a minute off a bronze medal.

Ferrybank sprinter Niamh Whelan missed a place in the 200m final by just four hundredths of a second. She was fourth in her semi-final in a season-best 23.68 but it needed 23.64 to make the final.

Leevale's Michelle Finn (Western Kentucky) was seventh in the 3,000m steeplechase final in 10:03.28, nine seconds off her best time. DSD's Claire Tarplee (Loughborough) finished eighth in her 1500m semi-final in 4:18.77 but that was good enough to put her through to the final as the last 'fastest loser'.

Young Irish throwers Kayleigh Cronin (Spa Muckross) and John Kelly (Finn Valley) failed to progress in the World Youths, throwing 37.86m and 18.07m respectively in the discus and shot qualifying.

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