Not all of Ireland’s top athletes will celebrate St Patrick’s Day at home this year – certainly not the walkers! Many of Ireland’s elite race walkers will be in action this weekend at the Memorial Mario Albisetti Walking Meet in Lugano, Switzerland.
Robert Heffernan (Togher AC) goes in the men’s 20km event where the opposition will include international athletes from Spain, Italy, Russia and the Ukraine. Heffernan is the Irish record holder for the 20k Walk (1:19:22) and is likely to go close to this on Sunday. The 20k distance on Sunday will provide Heffernan with the perfect opportunity to assess how his winter training has gone. Michael Doyle (Tara AC) is also in action and will be aiming to improve on his personal best of 1:26:00.
Olive Loughnane (Loughrea AC) goes in the women’s 20k event. Loughnane who has already qualified for the London Olympics will be aiming to put in a strong performance and re-capture the form that took her to a silver medal at the 2009 IAAF World Championships. With many of the top Russian athletes on the start list Loughnane will be guaranteed strong competition in Sunday’s race.
Kate Veale (West Waterford AC) is on the startlist for the junior women’s race over 10k. Veale, the 2011 World Youth 5k Walk Champion has a personal best of 46:30 and will aim to get close to this on Sunday. Emma Prendiville (Farranfore Maine Valley AC) also competes’ in the junior women’s 10k race while James Treanor (Shercock AC) is the sole Irish representative in the junior men’s race.
SportsNewsIreland will be keeping you updated with all the news from Lugano, and indeed on all the major sporting action over this busy weekend.