Olympian Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) ran a superb race to claim the bronze medal in the women’s 3,000m on the final day of the European Indoor Track and Field Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden. The Wicklow athlete showed incredible grit and determination as she bagged the bronze medal in a dramatic last lap dust up.
Commenting afterwards Britton said “I’m so happy I didn’t come fourth as it was so close between us and the danger people were all amongst the medals. When you come away with a medal, a medal is a medal and it is not easy to get any of them. You take what you can get and move on I suppose. When you get a medal you love it and you want to come back. It is such a short season that it goes by so fast. It’s a good confidence boost (ahead of the World Cross-Country Championships in Poland later this month) and it’s good preparation.”
Earlier Ciaran O’Lionaird (Leevale AC), who also repredented Ireland last Summer in London, provided the highlight on day two of the European Indoor Championships when he won the bronze medal in the men’s 3,000m. There was delight also for Ciara Everard (UCD AC) as she dramatically made the final of the women’s 800m. However disaster struck when medal favourite Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers) was involved in a fall and failed to finish in the men’s 400m semi-finals.
High Performance Director Kevin Ankrom said “I am delighted for Ciaran we have stuck with him through the good times and the bad and we are privileged to be able to support him. I am gutted for Brian Gregan as he was so unfortunate and I truely believe he had a chance in the final. Ciara Everard’s performance was excellent and collectively the team have performed brilliantly so far.”
O’Lionaird said “I am not going to go to bed tonight and think I’ve done well, I am still angry and I want to go and beat those guys next time. It was my first competition in the 3000m and I really wanted to win, but these guys were too good. My goal for Moscow (at the World Championships in August) is to get to the final and set a new personal best.”