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Perfect 10 for Barr at national championships as Adeleke shines in Santry

Meanwhile, Sophie Becker held off Phil Healy to take gold in the 400m.

Thomas Barr celebrates with his gold medal.
Thomas Barr celebrates with his gold medal.
Image: Sam Barnes/SPORTSFILE

THOMAS BARR MOVED into double digits for national 400m hurdles titles at the Irish Life Health National Track and Field Championships, while Rhasidat Adeleke and Molly Scott provided fans in attendance with a breathtaking display of 100m sprinting, the pair being separated by the narrowest of margins.

The results came as the 150th edition of the championships closed a busy two day schedule in thrilling fashion with a host of breathtaking performances across the evening session in Morton Stadium.

Barr (Ferrybank AC) showed all his class in the men’s 400m hurlde final, crossing the finish in 50.37 to claim his 10th national title in the gusty evening condititons. Barr looked controlled throughout the lap and no doubt has sights set on international success later in the summer with both World and European Champiosnhips on the horizon. Jack Mitchell of St. L. O’Toole AC continues to impress and followed Barr home in 51.64 to claim silver, whileThomas Pitkin of Clonliffe Harriers AC took bronze in 51.93.

The women’s 400m hurldes final saw a super dual between Kelly McGrory (Tír Chonaill AC) and Nessa Millet (St Abbans AC) with the pair going stride for stride heading to the final hurlde. McGrory would find more in the run in, posting the lap of her life to clock a 57.22PB when it really mattered. Nessa Millet crossed in 58.08 for silver with McGrory’s clubmate Lucy McGlynn (Tír Chonaill A.C.) taking bronze in 1:00.00.

The women’s 100m final was one of the most anticipated events of the weekend with the return of Adeleke (Tallaght AC) to national competiton. The race didn’t dissapoint with Molly Scott (St. L. O’Toole AC) pushing Adeleke all the way to the line with only the dip of Adeleke proving the difference in a dual which is sure to thrill Irish athletics fans for years to come. Adeleke crossed in 11.68, with Scott following in 11.69. Scott’s performance was made all the more impressive after an interupted schedule in recent weeks. Joan Healy of Leevale AC claimed bronze with a superb performance of 11.77 into the headwind experienced by athletes through the day.

Israel Olatunde (UCD AC) continues to stamp his dominance on the men’s 100m division in Ireland, backing up his 2021 title winning performance to yet again secure gold in a time of 10.51. The 20-year-old managed the heats, semi final, and final today like a seasoned sprinter and the next few years will be exciting as fans of athletics follow his persuit of Paul Hession’s national record of 10.18.

Olatunde’s training partner, Joseph Ojewumi (Tallaght AC) claimed silver in 10.72 and looks another with another exciting sprints career ahead of him. The consistent Colin Doyle secured bronze for Leevale in 10.78.

The women’s 400m final was a truly absorbing race with Olympic relay teammates Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrock) and Phil Healy (Bandon AC) leaving everything on the track as they battled for gold in one of the finishes of the weekend. Becker would ultimately regain her 400m title in one of the performances of her career as she toppled the 2021 champion to claim her second national outdoor 400m title in 52.34. Cliodhna Manning (Kilkenny City Harriers AC) claimed third in another impressive display to cross in 53.05.

irish-life-health-national-senior-track-and-field-championships-2022-day-2 Adeleke edged out Molly Scott this evening. Source: George Tewkesbury/SPORTSFILE

Chris O’Donnell (North Sligo AC) showed why he’s third on the Irish 400m all time list with an accomplished display in the one lap decider. O’Donnell dominated the race from the gun and would secure his 4th national 400m title in 5 years with a time of 46.82 , dedicating the win to the late Ray Flynn. Olympian Marcus Lawler (Clonliffe Harriers AC) continued his progress in the 400m division to claim silver in 47.94, with Eanna Madden (Carrick-on-Shannon AC) claiming third in 48.11.

The men’s 5000m race was another edge of the seat event, with the leading trio of Darragh McElhinney (UCD AC), Hiko Tonosa (DSD AC), and Efrem Gidey (Clonliffe Harriers) going toe to toe from the gun. The three stars of Irish endurance running finally made a break from the pack thanks to a 2.44 minute kilometer as they moved within 8 laps of the finish.

McElhinney’s kick would ultimatly prove best, and he would storm clear to regain the 5,000m title which he won in 2020. The Glengarriff star would cross in 13:53.84. Hiko Tonosa left nothing out there in the defense of his 2021 title, ultimately having to settle silver in 13:55.97. Home favourite Efrem Gidey would cross in 13:57.40.

The men’s 800m was another to have fans on their feet with the experience of Mark English (Finn Valley AC) coming to the fore in an exemplary show of 800m championship racing. English stayed patient and raced clear in convincing style over the final 50m to secure his 8th national senior title in 1:48.46. John Fitzsimons of Kildare AC went out on his shield in his bid to defend his 2021 title, crossing for silver in 1:49.10 ahead of Mark Milner (U.C.D. AC) who crossed in 1:50.58.

There was also a masterclass of 800m tactical running by defending champion Louise Shanahan (Leevale AC) in a gun-to-tape performance. The national record holder controlled the pace from the front and never looked like being beat as she ran the kick out of a quality field behind her to cross in 2.10.90. Jenna Bromell (2.11.96) of Emerald AC was next to cross in a super run for silver, while Claire Mooney (Naas AC) outbattled Olympian Sarah Healy to claim bronze in 2.12.18.

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Carla Sweeney (Rathfarnham W.S.A.F. AC) grabbed her opportunity to claim a national 1500m title, leaving nothing to chance by controlling the pace of the race in a brilliant display of front running (4:37.96). It was a bunched finish in the hunt for podium places with Maisy O’Sullivan (St Abbans) securing a gritty silver medal in 4.38.53, with Niamh Markham of Ennis Track Club following hot on her heels in 4:39.21.

Cathal Doyle (Clonliffe Harriers AC) ran the bravest of races to claim his first national senior title in the men’s 1500m. Doyle was roared home by his Clonliffe clubmates in a tactical race that turned into a sprint coming into the final 200m. Doyle will collect the 2022 gold medal thanks to his 3:59.36. Shane Bracken (Swinford AC) stormed up the home straight to claim silver in 3:59.99, with Paul Robinson (St. Coca’s AC) evoking memeories of his 2019 win as he held off Luke McCann and Nick Griggs for the bronze in 4:00.23.

There was no shortage of action in the field events during the evening session of day two. Conor Cusack (Lake District AC) took the honours in the men’s javeline with a 64.55m throw, while Kate O’Connor (Dundalk St. Gerards AC) dominated the women’s competiton with a winning throw of 50.93m.

David Cussen (Old Abbey AC) took the men’s high jump title with a Irish season leading clearance of 2.10m. Conall Mahon of Tír Chonaill AC claimed the men’s triple jump title, claiming the gold on a countback thanks to his best of 14.68m.

The thrills and spills of the 4x400m relays signed off the action, with Ratoath AC taking the penultimate title of the day in a time of 3:56.06. The honour of last gold medal of the championships fell upon Emerald AC who crossed in 3:18.34, narrolwy behind the Irish U20 team in 3.17.86.

Report courtesy of Athletics Ireland, for today’s full results, see here >

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