Olympic heartbreak for Colvert

Strong wind at Santry Stadium played a telling factor on Day One of the 2012 Woodies DIY National Track and Field Championships today.

Steven Colvert was the biggest causality of the day as he missed out on the Olympic 200 meters qualifying time of 20.55.

Colvert’s first attempt at the standard was in Heat 2 at 13:45. Colvert raced home in a time of 20.40 but the standard was ruled out due to a plus 3 wind, ruling the time illegal.

Colvert’s second attempt at nearly two hours later, showed another brave attempt however he couldn’t repeat the earlier time and came home in 20.78.

Speaking afterward, Colvert said: "It just hasn’t sunk in yet, I had the standard and then it was taken away from me.

"All I can think is just work to get the time this year and work toward the World Championships. If I can get the 20.40, then work at 20.30 and get it down to 2.30 next year then I can aim for 20.20 next year which would make the World final."

Ireland’s first female Olympic pole vaulter Tori Pena claimed the first medal of the championship,

The London-bound Finn Valley pole vaulter was a comfortable victor clearing a height of 4.44 meters 0.25 of a meter better than Silver medallist Raheny Shamrock’s Zoe Brown.

Joanne Cuddihy claimed her fourth National 200 meters title racing home in 23.15, the Kilkenny City Harrier Olympian took gold, 56 hundreds of a second clear of Ferrybank’s Niamh Whelan.

Cuddihy’s time of 23.15 was ruled illegal due to the +2.5 wind which was more of a hindrance to the sprinters as it blew into the athetes faces as they attacked the bends. However it was a race and time that bodes well for Cuddihy’s Olympic entrance.

In what was an emotional day for the Cuddihy family, Joanne’s younger sister Caitirona was removed from the Women’s 4x400 meter relay team after a successful appeal by Ballymena & Antrim Joanne Mills.

Caitriona Cuddihy’s last option is to appeal the decision to the Olympic Council a situation where Athletics Ireland will make no further comment.

Cork woman Michelle Finn running in the colours of the famous Leevale club, was a convincing winner of a weak Women’s steeplechase, coming home nearly 30 seconds clear of Dundrum South Dublin’s Fiona Clinton.

Finn’s winning time of 10.45.49 was well outside the national record of 9.28.29.

Kilkenny City Harriers Brian Maher took his first National title as a clear winner of the 10,000 meters in a time of 30.17.07.

Maher led out a big field where he identified David Campbell as the big threat. Campbell who was eying the Olympic A standard found the going too tough and retired from the race after 5,000 meters.

Clonliffe Harriers Gary O’Hanlon took silver, adding to his Cross Country silver medal from earlier this year.

An emotional Maria McCambridge ran a gun to tape performance to take the 5,000 meters in 16.03.50.

A clearly emotional McCambridge came across the line well clear of women’s mini Marathon runner up Siobhan O’Doherty.

McCambridge, who made the Olympic Marathon A Standard, but was the odd one out as only three athletes can travel to London in a given event.

"I thought the summer would end a bit different and the cheers from the crowd just got to me at the end of the race," she said. "I just went out to enjoy my running and my plan was a fast start, which set me clear and I kept the performance going."

Kelly Proper showed a return taking the Ladies Long Jump title. Proper jumped a best of 6.33 meters beating off Tir Chonaill’s Mary McLoone to take gold, McLoone posting a best of 6.17.

4 x 100 Meters relays made a welcome return to the championships and was watching by a sizeable crowd which stayed behind.

There was celebration in the camps of Raheny Shamrock (Men) and Dundrum South Dublin (Women) who were clear winners of both races.

National champions

Men’s Shot Putt – Sean Breathnach – Galway City Harriers – 15.85 Meters

Men’s Triple Jump – Denis Finnegan – Leevale – 15.55

Men’s 10,000 – Brian Maher – Kilkenny City Harriers – 30.17.07

Men’s 200 – Steven Colvert – Crusaders -

Men’s Triple Jump – Denis Finnegan – Leevale – 15.55

Men’s Shot Putt – Sean Breathnach – Galway City Harriers – 15.78 Meters

Men’s High Jump – Barrry Pender – St.Abbans - 2.11 meters

4 x 100 Meters Relay – Raheny Shamrock – 42.75

Womens 5,000 Walk Meave Curley – Craughwell AC – 24.41.07

Women’s Pole Vault – Tori Pena – Finn Valley – 4.44 meters

Women’s Steeplechase – Michelle Finn – Leevale – 10.45.51

Women’s Hammer – Cara Kennedy – Ferrybank – 56.22

Women’s 200 – Joanne Cuddihy – Kilkenny City Harriers – 23.15

Women’s 5,000 Meters – Maria McCambridge – Letterkenny – 16.02.52

Women’s Discus – Claire Fitzgerald – Tralee Harriers – 49.48

Women’s Long Jump – Kelly Proper – Ferrybank – 6.33

Women’s Javelin – Anita Fitzgibbon – Dundrum South Dublin – 49.54

4x100 Meters Relay – Dundrum South Dublin – 47.10

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