Brian Gregan has become the latest Irish athlete to qualify for next month’s World Athletics Championships in London, needing to break his 400 metres lifetime best to do so, writes Will Downing.
Fresh from his victory in last weekend’s European Team Championships in Finland, where only Mark English was able to achieve the same from an Irish perspective, Gregan clocked a new PB 45.48 at a meeting in Switzerland today to book his London passage.
The Dubliner’s previous lifetime best of 45.53 had been set in Huelva four years ago, but with the IAAF standard for the Worlds three-hundredths faster, Gregan needed to break new ground to join the growing list of qualified Irish.
Only David Gillick has run faster in an Irish vest - the double European indoor champion’s national record of 44.77 was set eight years ago in Madrid.
It’s also an improvement on the winning time of 45.83 at the Euro Teams in Vaasa.
The 28-year-old former European Under-23 medallist was untroubled in his victory at the Swiss Starters meeting in Nottwil, with that 45.48 seeing him win the 400m by over a second-and-a-half ahead of Swiss pair Joel Burgunder and Daniele Angelella.
The only other non-Swiss athlete in the race was Gregan’s Irish international colleague Brian Murphy, who came sixth in 48.79 seconds.
Gregan joins other recent qualifiers in the form of English, Thomas Barr and Ciara Mageean, while a full contingent will also be travelling in the walks and marathons.
There’s no Irish representation in tonight’s Paris Diamond League meeting, which is taking place for the time at Stade Charlety.
Meanwhile, Cork City Sports organisers are pitting Pan-Am Games and World Indoors medallist Ramon Gittens of Barbados up against the USA’s Pan-Am Junior champion Sean McLean in the 100 metres in their meeting on July 18th, which is being broadcast live on TG4.
No sub-10-second 100m has ever been recorded in Ireland.
Gittens has a lifetime best of 10.02, McLean’s is 10.01.
Phil Healy, John Travers, Sean Tobin, Eoin Everard Sarah Lavin and Timmy Crowe are heading the Irish contingent at the CIT track.