Shanahan sets the gold standard in 800 metres
16 year old Louise Shanahan from Leevale AC ran the race of her life to win Ireland’s first gold medal at the European Youth Olympics in Utrecht, Holland today (July 19).
Running in the 800 metres final, her brilliant sprint kick at 200 metres from the finish burned off the challenge of Schelderman of Belgium (2.09.15) and Prinsen of Holland (2.09.77).
Loiuse took two seconds off her personal best to win gold in a phenomenal time for her age of 2.08.75 and she looks set to be one of Ireland’s track stars of the future, coached by her father Ray Shanahan, a former Irish international.
Louise’s success was followed by the gold medal victory of the Irish girl’s 4x100m relay team, who broke the Irish record, winning comfortably in a time of 46.55 from Ukraine (46.81) and Belgium (46.89). The winning squad was comprised of Laura Ann Costello (Dunmore AC), Niamh McNicol (Stella Maris Tramore), Phoebe Murphy (Loreto Clonmel) and Roseanna McGuckian (Ballymena AC).
Earlier in the day 15 year old sprinter Roseanna McGuckian won the bronze medal in the 200 metres in a personal best time of 24.42.
This completed a hugely successful European Youth Olympics competition for Team Ireland with an athletics haul of two gold, two silver, one bronze and a several top five finishes against the cream of Europe’s athletes.