Dissapointment for Irish athletes

August 21, 2009

Two years ago, O’Keeffe made history in Osaka when reaching the Hammer final and finishing sixth but yesterday she through 63.20m  fouling twice.

And her only throw, in the first round, was a full 10m less than her Irish record and less even than the 67.66m she threw at the Olympics when badly injured.

O’Keefe threw 70m at nationals recently so yesterday’s performance was particularly disappointing.

“My first throw hit the floor of the circle during two of the turns which threw me off altogether and then I went for it on the second and third throw and caught the cage,” O’Keeffe said.

Equally dejected was 800m runner Chamney, who was only fifth in his heat in 1:48:09 (his PB is 1:45.41) which was won by in 1:47.12 by American Nic Symonds. “I’ve made a major breakthrough this year (breaking 1:46), so to go out in the first round, I’m gutted,” he said.

And then Alistair Cragg (29) once again mystifyingly failed to produce in a championship race.

Cragg has moved to a new American training group this year and three of the four US 5,000m entrants got through but not him.

He was right up in the front dozen African-dominated group with four laps left but then dropped back 10m and went out the back to finish in 13th in 13:46.34, a full 30 seconds slower than his season best.

“I just fell asleep; for like a lap, and didn’t go with a move,” he confessed.

This Championship has seen some Irish athletes move on from Beijing were they failed to meet expectation. Cragg and O’Keefe in particular have the ability but seems they need to learn how to get it right when it really matters.

Ireland’s 50km race walkers Jamie Costin and Colin Griffin were unable to finish the final at the World Championships this morning.

In gruelling conditions in Berlin, both Irish walkers were in the middle of the pack and walking steadily with Griffin and Costin in 22nd and 26th respectively through the half way point.

However, after the 30km mark the heat began to take its toll on both to the extent that they dropped out of the race along with a third of the field that had started early this morning.

The race was won by Russia’s Sergey Kirdyapkin in a time of 3:38.35.

All Irish eyes will now focus on Dundrum South Dublin’s David Gillick, who runs in the final of the 400m tonight at the Olympic Stadium in Berlin.

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