Day One of the European Team Championships in Izmir Turkey proved challenging for the Irish Team. However Ireland, who finished in eighth place of eleven teams last year, currently lay in tenth position and the team manager and athletes are optimistic that they can hold this place.
It was the younger members of the team that produced the noteworthy performances. The talented U23 athlete, Kourosh Foroughi, pictured, (Star of the Sea) produced the best placing of the Irish Team finishing third in the high jump with a leap of 2.15m. Jessie Barr (Ferrybank AC) smashed her personal best of 58.19, finishing fifth in 57.21 in the 400m hurdles. This time is not only inside the qualification standard for the World University Games and the European U23 championships (which she had already achieved) it is also a new Irish U23 record (subject to rectification). Timmy Crowe (Dooneen AC) also put in an impressive performance achieving the European U23 Championships standard in the Men’s 400m Hurdles in a personal best of 51.59 to finish fourth.
The Men’s 4×100m team produced a good performance to finish third in 39.61. The team was Jason Smyth, Chris Russell, Stephen Colvert and Paul Hession. The Irish women’s World Championships bound 4×100m of Amy Foster (North Down AC), Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank AC), Claire Brady (Celbridge AC) and Derval O’Rourke (Leevale AC) dropped the baton on the first change over.
Jason Smyth (City of Derry AC), who recently set a personal best of 10.22, put in a solid performance to finish fourth in 10.44, with Amy Foster (North Down AC) also finishing in fourth place in 10.60.
David Gillick (Dundrum South Dublin) failed to improve on his seasonal best of 46.64 from the New York Diamond League finishing in seventh place in 46.95. Michelle Carey (Dublin Striders AC) who switched from her usual 400m hurdles to the 400m flat, was just off her seasonal best finishing eighth in 53.49.
Roseanne Galligan (Newbridge AC) finished seventh in 2.05.57 in the 800m. In the 1500m, Rory Chesser was fifth in 4.02.46. In the 3000m former European Indoor Bronze Medallist Mary Cullen (North Sligo AC) was off her best running 9.17.53 to place sixth. In the women’s 3000m steeplechase Stephanie O’Reilly (Sli Cualann AC), was off her personal best that she set last week in the NY Diamond league but her time of 9.53.79 secured a fourth place for the team. Irish Record Holder, Tori Pena (Finn Valley AC) was below her best, with a jump of 3.80m finishing sixth.
Team Standings, ETCH 1st League
1. Greece 178,0
2. Turkey 173,5
3. Norway 150,5
4. Belgium 144,0
5. Romania 142,0
6. Netherlands 136,5
7. Hungary 136,0
8. Switzerland 129,0
8. Finland 129,0
10. Ireland 121,0
11. Slovenia 96,5
12. Croatia 94,0