There’s never been a World Championships quite like these, and the jury is out on whether that’s a good thing. From the captivating energy of Beijing 2015 to the thronged stands of London 2017, we find ourselves here, in Doha, Qatar, wondering just what the sport and its athletes have done to deserve this.
Caolan Ward last Sunday week answered the call from Declan Bonner to step into the Donegal team for his first championship appearance at Croke Park when Eoghan Ban Gallagher and Neil McGee’s absences through injury were confirmed prior to the epic 1-20 to 1-20 draw with Kerry.
Faster, fitter, and a whole lot healthier, Mark English has every reason to believe once again. Ten days out from the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow, the Donegal athlete has returned to the kind of form that saw him win a silver medal at the 2015 edition — and he believes a repeat showing could be on the cards.
Shock wasn’t the right word, nor could you say it was a huge surprise, so if anything Thomas Barr’s bronze medal at last night’s European Championships proved a delightful deliverance on his talent, an ode to his outstanding ability at the event they call the man-killer.
It is, in many ways, a make-or-break weekend for Ireland at the IAAF World Championships in London, with seven of the 11-strong team taking to the track or roads in the English capital over the next two days.
Less than two weeks out from the World Championships in London, this was always going to be a fact-finding mission for Ciara Mageean, Mark English, Brian Gregan, and Thomas Barr, and though each of them faced a test of differing degrees of difficulty, they all passed with flying colours.
Chloe Ryan, 23, from Limerick’s South Circular Road, won the Irish, Ulster, and Munster girls’ golf titles in her teens and first played for Munster Ladies when she was just 15. She plays off a +3.5 handicap for Castletroy Golf Club and Ireland. This week, she is playing in the Irish Women’s Close Championships in Mullingar GC.
When the going got tough, she was just getting going. Fionnuala McCormack turned in a typically battling performance to finish 20th in a lifetime best of 2:31:22 in the Olympic marathon yesterday, held in brutally hot conditions around the streets of Rio.