Team Ireland had a packed day on the first day of Irish competition at the Summer European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) in Baku. In the first final event on the programme for Ireland, Race Walker Oisin Lane finished just outside the podium with a fourth place in the 10km Race Walk.
Today was the second day of competition at the multi-sport event for youth athletes, with athletes in action across athletics, swimming and tennis. The gymnasts also participated in their podium event.
It was a great start for the athletics team, with athletes scoring personal bests and progressing to the next rounds in their events. In the Girl’s 100m Rhasidat Adeleke kicked off her second EYOF in style by crossing the line first with a time of 11.87.
The EYOF is a European event for athletes aged 14-18 that runs every two years. Baku is hosting the 2019 edition which runs from the 21 – 27 July.
FULL BREAKDOWN BY SPORT BELOW
At the Tofiq Bahranov Stadium, the athletics team enjoyed a successful morning with one final to be decided – the Boy’s 10km Race Walk, where Oisin Lane finished just outside the medals in fourth place.
The Westmeath man started strongly leading the field around the first lap, by the 6km mark Lane found himself in the silver medal position just behind the dominant Italian Gabriele Gamba.
“I was surprised with how it went; I knew I was in with a shot going into it, but I didn’t really know what to expect,” Lane said after the race. “6km in and I was in second place, but I had over extended, I worked too hard, I think. I got a third red card and went into the pit lane for a full minute and went back to fourth, when I came back, I was too tired to catch your man.”
Rhasidat Adeleke didn’t disappoint in the Girl’s 100m Heats, finishing first in her heat. Her race was not without controversy, though, with her morning heat being re-run in the evening, due to a recall for a false start.
Undeterred Adeleke delivered another top performance in the evening, qualifying for the final with a time of 11.87, just 0.04 seconds behind Belgian Mariam Oulare.
Speaking after the race she said, “Obviously it was a surprise that I’d be running again, but I just tried to execute race without putting on too much effort so that I’m fresh enough for the final tomorrow. I feel like I cruised a bit too much at the end because I could feel someone under me, but I’m happy with the race overall.”
Bandon’s Diarmuid O’Connor had a mixed day in the decathlon and is now lying 6th with 3569 going into the second day. The clear highlight was the massive personal best he jumped in the high jump, his fourth event. Going into the competition O’Connor’s PB was 1.81m and on the day he cleared 1.94m!
Thrilled with his jump, O’Connor said, “without a doubt the high jump was the highlight, it was surreal. I think I had a poor long jump before it and my head was in a different place and I knew I had to come back. That high jump though, I don’t know how to describe it.”
Earlier in the day Ciara Sheehy threw a personal best in the shot put with her 16.0m qualifying her directly into the final. Aimee Hayde was competing in the 800m shortly after, finishing second with 2.14.16 booking her place in the final.
Israel Olatunde finished 3rd in a fast heat qualifying as the fastest non-automatic qualifier in the Boy’s 100m with 10.75 seconds. Caoimhe Cronin clocked a personal best outdoor time in the 400m with 57.30 seconds
Ellie McKibbin finished tenth in her heat of the Girl’s 100m Freestyle with a time of 59.1 seconds. This was just outside her personal best time of 58.76 which she recorded in March at the Swim Ireland qualifying meet. The first five qualified through to the semi-finals, and McKibbin now switches focus to the 200m Freestyle later this week.
“This morning was a little bit tough in a new environment, I was quick off the blocks, a good start. Although when I hit the turn I didn’t hit it quite right so was a little slow on the second 50, but hopefully I learnt a few things that will help with the 200 on Wednesday.”
Team Ireland had two athletes competing in the singles events today. Sligo’s Cliona Walsh eased into her match, losing the first set to Ida Johannson from Sweden 6-3 before leading at one point in the second set, and eventually losing in a tie-break.
“It was a tough match, a tough one to lose, 6-3, 7-6,” Walsh said after the match. “I kept it close in the second set and I had my chances and I made her work for it. She was left handed which I don’t usually play against, so I had to adjust my serve. She had a good forehand, and I was just trying to keep away from that. got better as the match went on, which definitely showed on the score line. I got on top of a few of the rallies without her dictating it.”
In the Boy’s Singles, Waterford’s Arthur O’Sullivan started strong with an ace against GB’s Yujiro Onuma. His first set didn’t go his way, losing 6-3, but like Walsh O’Sullivan found his stride in the second set, but had to bow out to Onuma who took the second set 7-5.
Tomorrow will be another busy one for Team Ireland with athletes from swimming, cycling, gymnastics and athletics competing.
The daily schedule of Team Ireland in Baku can be found HERE
Boy’s Decathlon Diarmuid O’Connor lying 6th with 3569 after five events
Girl’s Shotput Ciara Sheehy Q. for Final with 16.0m 3rd in heat, 5th overall
Girl’s 800m Aimee Hayde 2nd in heat and through to final with a time of 2.14.26
Girl’s 100m Rhasidat Adeleke 1st in heat and second fastest qualifier with 11.87
Boy’s 100m Israel Olatunde 3rd in heat and through to final with 10.75
Girl’s 400m Caoimhe Cronin 6th in heat with 57.30
Boy’s 10k Race Walk Oisin Lane
Girl’s 100m Freestyle Ellie McKibbin 10th with 59.10.
Boy’s Singles Yujiro Onuma (GB) Vs Arthur O’Sullivan 6-3, 7-5
Girl’s Singles Ida Johansson (Sweden) Vs Cliona Walsh (IRL) 6-3, 7-6