European Championships in Berlin with two Waterford athletes
The European Championships began in Berlin yesterday with heats in certain events and continue until Sunday and a sizable Irish team is competing there including Thomas Barr and Niamh Whelan Ferrybank both of whom also competed in 2016,and Thomas was there in 2012 and 2014 also,This time Thomas is in the 400 metres hurdles and 4 x 400 metres relay and Niamh in the 4 x100 metres relay.
Thomas Barr in action this evening
This will be the fourth appearance by Thomas at these Championships in the 400 metres hurdles. In 2012 he reached the semi final by finishing second in his heat, in 2014 he again reached the semi final by winning his heat and lost out by one place to make the final,in 2016 an interrupted season for him with injury he won his heat but didn't progress but later was fourth in the Olympic final his beat ever performance clocking 47.96. This year the top twelve in Europe including Thomas are omitted from the heats on Monday and go straight into the semi final today timed for 6.45 pm. From Mondays heats twelve will go through to today's semi finals to join the others By getting direct into the semi final will not make it any easier for athletes to make the final as its two from each semi final plus the fastest two losers overall progress Thomas is in the third semi final today at 7.09 pm. Going into these Championships Thomas is ranked fifth with the reigning World Champion Warholm from Norway the clear favourite being the only athlete of the 38 competitors entered to go below 48 seconds this year with a time of 47.63,Thomas's best time is 48.99. While Warholm will be very hard to beat there are others too well capable of being in contention for medals such as the holder of the title Copella from Turkey who has a 48.31 to his credit this season and who was second to Warholm last year in the World Championships but Thomas who has been improving in each race this year could also make an impact. Ideally if he could win his semi final today it would ensure a good lane draw in the final which is on Thursday at 7.15 pm and lane 4 or 5 would ensure he has sight on those at both sides of him.We hope he comes up with two big runs this week. On Friday he also runs in the relay semi final at 12.50 pm and if qualifying the final is on Saturday at 8.30 pm and Niamh Whelan is also expected to get the start in the relay which is on Sunday at 6.20 pm,we wish both well.
Memory Lane; In the European Championships of 1978 this writer believes that John Treacy ran his finest ever track race in the 5000 metres final Having finished fourth in his semi final in 13 minutes 28.85 he was always well placed in the final and together with six other athletes they broke from the rest. In a thrilling final lap he came from seventh place at the bell to finish a closing fourth in a blanket finish,the race won by Ortiz Italy in 13.28.52, Ryfel Switzerland was second in 13.28.60 the same time as the third athlete Fedotkin Soviet Union with Treacy fourth in 13.28.83, earlier that year he had won the first of his two World Cross Country titles,those were the days.
National Half Marathon
On Sunday next the National Half Marathon is in Dublin incorporated into the Rock and Roll Half Marathon and many from this area will compete and on Saturday week August 18 th National Masters Track and Field Championships are in Tullamore
Ballyduff Lower 5 miles
The Annual Eilis Ni Aodha Memorial 5 mile race will be held on Friday next August 10th at 7:30pm in Balltduff Lower, walkers will go at 6:45pm. Entries in Community Centre Ballyduff.Due to abreavement the Waterford AC Miles in RSC this Tuesday evening are off.
Marine Climb Details
120 competed in the 24 th Annual Marine Climb 6 miles in the Dungarvan area last Friday evening and first home was Kevin O'Leary East Cork in 34 minutes 55 seconds, Cornelius Marshall St Finbarrs was second in 35.41 and Anthony Flynn West Waterford was third in 36.08.First lady home was Madeline Loughnane Thurles in 40.20,Kate Veale West Waterford was second in 42.11 and Julie Kenneally Youghal was third in 44.47. Category winners Ladies; F35 Laurie Artiglia Eagle Cork, F40 Eveleen Drohan West Waterford, F45 Brigid Coffey do, F50 Stephanie Isley (Ind) Men M40 Dzintars Klava West Waterford,M45 Ben Hahessy Carrick on Suir,M50 Ray Hahesy West Waterford,M55 Gerry Cantwell do Junior Tony Dwyer do. It was race 9 of the Intersport Elverys/Asics Series. On Friday Kate Veale won the Conna 5Km in East Cork and was Pat Hennessy third male home while Onra Power took the over 50 prize all West Waterford and last week also Alan Slattery Waterford won the Ballysaggart 5 km race on Wednesday and Kate Veale was first lady. In Estonia last week at the Baltic Games Jake Bagge Ferrybank won the u 18 1500 metres and at the Celtic Games in Scotland on Saturday Patrick Firzgerald West Waterford was third in the pole vault.