Tuesday 23 January 2018

OCI chiefs to hear Caitriona Cuddihy appeal against her deselection for Olympics

Cliona Foley

Cliona Foley

THE Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) will hear Caitriona Cuddihy's appeal against her deselection for London early next week.

The OCI are expected to make a statement on the matter today, but it appears that they have received all the information they requested from Athletics Ireland (AAI) and are now ready to hear the case.

The OCI said initially they could not hear an appeal until they were satisfied that Athletics Ireland had correctly followed all of their own internal procedures.

The Kilkenny City Harriers sprinter was initially selected by AAI last week for Ireland's Olympic 4x400m squad, but when Joanna Mills, from Ballymena & Antrim AC, successfully appealed to AAI that she should have been included on the team, Cuddihy was dropped.

Mills (19), kept her focus and ran a season's best 54.17 to reach the 400m semi-finals at the World Junior Championships in Barcelona this week, but she did not progress any further yesterday, finishing eighth in the first of the semis in a time of 54.52.

There was no luck either for Ferrybank's 400m hurdler Ben Kiely or Carlow sprinter Marcus Lawler.

Kiely, the reigning Irish schools champion at both 400m and 400m hurdles, ran a personal best of 52.39 seconds to reach yesterday's 400m hurdles semi-finals.

However, when the pace really hotted up, he could only manage seventh (in 53:06) in his semi-final, which was won by Jamaica's Javern Gallimore in 50:45, the fastest time in the world by a junior (U-20) this year.

There was disappointment, too, for Lawler from St Laurence O'Toole AC, son of former Irish international Patricia Amond.

Lawler, who set two Irish Youth records at 100m (10.72) and 200m (21.42) this year, had a difficult outside lane in his 200m heat, yet was still in the mix after the bend and eventually finished fifth in 21.58.

This heat was the slowest, so he missed out on the 21.33 he needed to get into the semi-finals as a fastest loser.

He would thus have had to smash his personal best to get through. However, he will be eligible for this event again in two year's time.

Ireland's best medal chance at these championships, Mark English, goes into action today in the 800m heats, which will also include fellow Donegal runner Karl Griffin.

The Letterkenny star broke his own Irish junior record this year with a run of 1:45.77 that put him fifth on the all-time Irish senior list.

And though he has been injured recently, English ran 1:46.20 in Madrid last Saturday night to indicate that he is coming back to top form.

Limerick hurdler Sarah Lavin and hammer throwers Dempsey McGuigan and James McCabe are also competing today.

Irish Independent

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