Ireland's Roisin Harrison and Sophie Becker dejected after the team finished third. Sasa Pahic Szabo/INPHO
over and out

Two national records but no World Indoor finals for Ireland's 4x400m relay teams

Mixed emotions on the closing day in Belgrade.

THE IRELAND MEN’S and women’s 4x400m relay teams clocked two new national records at the 2022 World Indoor Championships in Belgrade.

The quartets broke both of the previous records set at the 2004 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Budapest on the final day of action in Serbia.

Cillin Greene (Galway City Harriers AC), Cathal Crosbie (Ennis Track AC), Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers AC) and Chris O’Donnell (Galway City Harriers AC) recorded a time of 3:08.63, but missed out on a final spot by just 0.33 of a second.  

“National record, three tenths [of a second] away from a final, seventh in the world is good but we wanted to make that final,” the returning Gregan told RTÉ’s David Gillick (who ran on the 2004 team which held the previous record of 3:08.83, alongside David McCarthy, who is currently serving as the relay coach of this championship) afterwards.

“Ultimately we are very disappointed but a national record and one place off the final, it’s not bad, we wanted a lot more and I’m gutted now to be honest,” O’Donnell added.

“But it’s great to see Brian back and Cathal’s first championship, Cillin ran a really good leg and us four guys will be back for the European Outdoors and I really think we can do well there. We just have to build on this, hopefully a lot more this year.”

The women’s team of Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrock AC), Roisin Harrison (Emerald AC), Sharlene Mawdsley (Newport AC) and Phil Healy (Bandon AC) clocked 3:30.97.

Likewise, they fell agonisingly short in their bid for final qualification, missing out by six hundredths of a second and breaking the existing record by over three seconds.

“I’m really proud of the girls because we showed we can mix it with the best. To be so close to the final is obviously really disheartening, but we left it all out on the track,” Mawdsley said, echoing all her team-mates words as they looked to “the bigger picture”:

Today’s relay exploits wrapped up an intense three-day effort at World Indoor Championships by Team Ireland, in which Sarah Lavin (Emerald AC) reached a final, Phil Healy contested a semi-final and two national records were set.

“As young Irish talents made their debut on the global stage, this championship has offered all of team Ireland a steppingstone for more great things to come from Irish athletics for the rest of the season,” as Athletics Ireland’s media release read.

High Performance Director Paul McNamara added: “There were both highs and lows at these championships. We targeted two national records in the relays and achieved both with outstanding performances, but we certainly would have liked to see those teams progress to finals.

“Sarah Lavin moved on to a different level and her semi-final performance was superb. We also had strong performances from several of our younger athletes who punched above their weight, but equally had some missed opportunities to progress.

“In terms of both depth and breadth we have moved on from the 2018 World Championships which affords a platform for greater success going forward.”


Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel