Ciarán O’Lionáird (Leevale AC) smashed his best time for 1,500m at a meet in Oordegem Belgium last night running 3.34.46, this time is inside the A standard for both the World championships in Daegu and the London 2012 Olympics.
For the first time this season he was involved in a paced race that brought runners through 800m in 1:54, with several runners chasing the standard for the World championships. Not content to be dragged around to a fast time O’Lionáird was involved in the race from the start but was just outpaced in the closing stages by Ethiopian Dawit Wolde who won in a time of 3:34.13, just ahead of O’Lionáird second in 3:34.46. Canadian Nate Brannan, who was at Michigan University with the Corkman, was third in 3:35.80
Ciarán O’Lionáird’s time represents a huge improvement on his previous best of 3:40.69 and follows on his fast times over 1 mile, 3,000m, 5,000m and 10,000m so far this year. It is the fourth fastest 1500m of all time for Ireland behind Ray Flynn (3:33.5), Marcus O Sullivan (3:33.61) and Frank O Mara (3:34.02)
In 2005 O’Lionáird won a bronze medal at the European Youth Olympics in Lignano Italy. Next up for the Corkman is the 5,000m at the Woodie’s DIY national track and field championships in Morton Stadium next weekend though it has been suggested he may now compete in this weekend’s London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace in an attempt to gain a 5,000m A standard for Seoul.