'A tough competitor and great fun': Tributes paid after death of Craig Lynch

'A tough competitor and great fun': Tributes paid after death of Craig Lynch

Tributes poured in today following the death of Craig Lynch, a 29-year-old international sprinter from Cavan who was killed in a car crash in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Lynch died after the car he was driving struck a wall on the R163 between Kells and Oristown at approximately 1:40am, with the Irish athletics community since mourning the loss of one of its best-loved members.

The Shercock native was a promising sprinter through his teenage years and after enrolling at DCU he progressed into a senior international, competing for his country on multiple occasions after graduating. In 2016 he won the Irish indoor 60m title and later that year he finished second in a thrilling national senior 400m final, clocking his lifetime best of 46.40 to qualify for the European Championships in Amsterdam. He also represented Ireland at the World Relays in 2015.

Competing alongside Brian Gregan, David Gillick and Thomas Barr at the 2016 European Championships, the Irish 4x400m quartet fell narrowly short of Olympic qualification and finished fifth in the final in 3:04.32. Lynch struggled with chronic pain in his Achilles tendon in the years that followed but he worked hard to overcome it and was eyeing a return to the track in 2020. A teacher by trade, he had a young daughter, Sarah, and was due to marry his fiancée Amy next summer.

“When we got the news it was…numb,” said his long-time coach Jeremy Lyons, who trained Lynch at their base in Santry.

“We’re all numb. Craig was a great guy. Tough as nails. He was an athlete in the group but he was a leader. He was a tough competitor and great fun. We’re just totally in shock, the whole community, not just DCU or Shercock, but the whole community.”

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