Whilst Catriona Jennings’ performance was the day’s big highlight from an Irish viewpoint, there were several other fine performances from Irish athletes.
Jennings (Rathfarnham AC) achieved the qualification standard for the London Olympic Games in today’s Rotterdam Marathon, running a time of 2:36:14 (inside the Olympic A standard of 2:37). Jennings joins Linda Byrne (Dundrum South Dublin AC) 2:36:23, Ava Hutchinson (Dundrum South Dublin AC) 2:35:33 and Maria McCambridge (Letterkenny AC) 2:36:37 as the fourth Irish women to achieve the standard for London.
Joanne Cuddihy (Kilkenny City Harriers AC) claimed victory in the Australian National Championships in a time of 51.69. This leaves Cuddihy only .14 outside the required Olympic standard of 51.55. Catriona Cuddihy (Kilkenny City Harriers), younger sister of Joanne was also competing. Catriona finished in eight position recording a new personal best time of 55.03
Robert Heffernan (Togher AC) claimed fourth position in the men’s 20k event at the Greater Rio International Race Walking Grand Prix in Portugal. This was Heffernan’s best ever performance at a race walking grand prix, finishing in a time of 1:21:28, which was only 14 seconds off a podium position. Conditions on the day were cold and windy, effecting the finishing times of all the athletes.
One of our most promising junior athletes Dempsey McGuigan (Finn Valley AC) set an impressive new Irish junior record-throwing the hammer 69.68m at a meet in England. The throw left McGuigan only 23cm outside the World junior qualification mark. McGuigan has recently returned from an intense three week training programme in South Africa and will be delighted with his performance.
Sean Connolly (Tallaght AC) was also targeting the men’s standard of 2:15 in Rotterdam today, however Connolly narrowly missed out finishing in a time of 2:16:40.Gary Thornton also missed out on the Olympic marthon time by just over one minute. We have no confirmed time for him at the minute.