The Woodie’s DIY Senior Track and Field Championships of Ireland will take place on 6th and 7th of August in Morton Stadium, Santry. Ray Colman, Chief Executive of Woodie’s DIY & Garden Centres said: ‘We are delighted to be sponsoring the championships for the ninth year running. We can look forward to seeing many of Ireland’s top athletes in action including those who will compete in the World Championships later this month. The championships will no doubt deliver some exciting races from all the talented and dedicated athletes who compete’
European Silver medallist Derval O’Rourke (Leevale AC) will compete in the 100m hurdles and will be looking for an impressive ninth title. O’Rourke, a renowned championship athlete is set to compete in the World Track and Field Championships in Daegu later in the month, after achieving the qualification standard when running a seasonal best of 12.84 in Le Chaux De Fonds.
There will be an interesting showdown in the Men’s 200m when Irish Record Holder, Paul Hession (Athenry AC) who has a seasonal best of 20.65, competes against U23 European finalist, Steven Colvert (Crusaders AC), who has a seasonal best of 20.76. There could also be an exhilarating 100m final as Hession may also line up in this event. This would see Ireland’s fastest men in action. Irish Record holder Hession would have to contend with the number one ranked athlete this year, Jason Smyth of City of Derry AC. Smyth set a personal best of 10.22 in Clermont Florida in May, just four hundredths off the Irish record.
Amy Foster (North Down AC), will be looking to do the double in the 100m and 200m. Foster has been in superb form this year, setting a personal best in both events, running 11.49 at the Clonliffe Grand Prix and 23.58 at the European team championships in Izmar. Foster will not have to contend with reigning champion and Irish 100m record holder Ailis McSweeney who is out for the remainder of the season due to an Achilles injury but she will have to compete against reigning national champion Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank AC) over 200m.
The Women’s 400m will see an exciting race with Ireland’s top ranked athletes set to compete. Race favourite will be Irish record holder Joanne Cuddihy (KCH AC) but she will need to contend with Michelle Carey (Dublin Striders AC), Marian Andrews-Heffernan (Togher AC), Claire Bergin (DSD AC) and European Junior finalist Joanne Mills (Ballymena and Antrim). In the men’s race, the favourite will be Brian Murphy (Crusaders AC) as Irish record holder David Gillick (DSD AC) had to withdrawn from the rest of the season due to injury, and European U23 silver medallist Brian Gregan will compete in the 200m.
In the 400m Hurdles, Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) who set a new Irish Junior and U23 record of 50.74 to make the final at the European Juniors, where he finished sixth, will face tough opposition from Timmy Crowe (Dooneen AC) and Paul Byrne (St.Abban’s AC), who both made the semi-finals at the European U23 championships. One late withdrawal from the weekend is Olive Loughnane (Loughrea AC) who will remain on her training camp in Spain.
In the women’s event, U23 record holder Jessie Barr (Ferrybank AC) will hope to claim her first senior title. The Waterford woman has been in great form this season and is within 0.07 seconds of the B standard for Daegu after her 56.62, which earned her fifth at the European U23 championships. Defending champion Justine Kinney is coming into form and will battle Barr all the way. Emma Peters (DSD AC) and EYOF bronze medallist Megan Kiely (Ferrybank AC) could also be in contention for bronze.
Mark English (Letterkenny AC) will be looking to add the outdoor Senior 800m title to his indoor title he won earlier in the year. His clubmate Darren McBrearty (Letterkenny AC) will not be competing due to a virus. English will have to take on Anthony Leighio (Tallaght AC) who raced exceptionally well at the European U23 championships running a personal best of 1:48.06 in the heat to make the final where he finished sixth and David McCarthy (Le Cheile AC).
In the women’s 800m, reigning champion Roseanne Galligan (Newbridge AC) will be challenged by Fiona Kehoe (Kilmore AC), Laura Crowe (Riocht AC) and 400m specialist Katie Kirk (Lagan Valley AC). Ireland’s youngest ever sub 4 minute miler, Paul Robinson (St. Coca’s AC), will enter as the fastest man on paper in the Mens 1500m after his 3.42.57 last week. Rory Chesser (Ennis Track AC) will also be in contention as will former European Junior champion Colin Costello (Star of the Sea) who continues his comeback.
The women’s 1500m is loaded with talent. European Junior silver medallist, Ciara Mageean (City of Lisburn AC) and European U23 finalist Sarah Loiuse Treacy (Moynalvey AC) are set to compete. Orla Drumm (UCC AC) who moved to number one in this season’s ranking when running a personal best of 4.14.08, at the weekend in Ghent is also seeking to the take the title ; Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC) and Stephanie O’Reilly (Sli Cualann AC), who has achieved the qualification standard for the World Track and Field championships in the 3000m Steeplechase will also be in the line-up. A great race in store.
Alistair Cragg (Clonliffe) will be the hot favourite for the men’s 5000m. Cragg has achieved the qualification standard for the event after his 13.12.21 run at the New York Diamond League. Ciaran O’Lionard (Leevale AC) who achieved the 1500m Olympic and World qualification standard on Tuesday night in Belgium will be set to take on Cragg, while Sean Connolly (Tallaght AC), will also be in contention after setting personal bests this year from the mile to the marathon.
In the high jump, clear favourites will be Fourughi Kourosh (Star of Sea AC) and Deirdre Ryan (DSD AC). Kourosh, who made the European U23 finalist, has consistently been jumping 2.18m and will look to end the season on a high note by equalling or surpassing her personal best of 2.20m. Ryan set a new Irish Record last weekend in Germany of 1.93m which was also the B qualification standard for the World Track and Field Championships. Pole Vaulter Tori Pena (Finn Valley AC) has also been in record breaking form all season with the record now standing at 4.40m which was set last Monday at the Nationales Stabhochsprung meeting in Switzerland. This vault was also the B qualification the World Track and Field Championship.
In the hammer Irish Junior Record holders Killian Barry (Crusaders AC) and Cara Kennedy (Ferrybank AC) will be in action. Barry will have to contend with clubmate Conor McCullough who is World Junior Hammer Champion 2010 from USA.
RTÉ Two will be showing an hour highlights of the championships at 11am on Sunday 7th of August.