Hession on right track for world championships

PAUL HESSION found plenty of reasons to smile after Saturday’s trip to the Cork City Sports.

Hession may have had to settle for second place behind the world silver medallist, Alonso Edward (Panama), in the 200m and the former European junior silver medallist, Luke Fagan (Great Britain), in the 100m but the Athenry man brought the crowd to their feet with thrilling finishes to both sprints.

In the 100m Hession was powering down on Fagan in the final strides as the Englishman held on to win by 100th of a second, 10.56 to 10.57.

A strong headwind whipped up for the 200m showdown and was a major factor when Hession became embroiled in ferocious finish with Edward, losing out by just six hundredths of a second, 20.89 to 21.05.

“I never run well into the headwinds — the same as last year — but it was a good, tough race,” Hession said.

“Alonso Edward is a world silver medallist from two years ago and he is class so it was always going to be tough to match him and I didn’t on the day. But it was a good run out for me.

“I’m right where I want to be — I don’t want to be peaking too soon, like last year — I need to get things ready for the World Championships in August/September. Hopefully now in the next race I’ll run a season best and keep it going in the right direction.

“I think I’m running in Brussels on July 10 — there is one in Germany on July 8 and I am not sure which one I’m in. I’m waiting for confirmation from my agent. It will be next weekend and hopefully I’ll get better conditions. I am running in Lucerne then on July 21. That’s usually a quick track so I’m looking forward to that.”

Apart from the delayed start to the season, he has made a few adjustments to his training programme.

“I have trained a bit harder this year in a sense of less intensity but more distance,” he said. “I think last year I was a bit fried by the time I got to the Europeans so this year I wanted to try and build it up bit slower. It’s taken a bit longer for the speed to come but that’s all part of the plan.”

The men’s 400m saw Tabarie Henry (US Virgin Islands) go within fractions of the meet record when he powered his way past Renny Quow (Trinidad & Tobago). Henry won in 45.73 with Quow second in 46.33 and Michael Mathieu (Bahamas) third in 46.50.

Lee Moore (USA) won the 400m hurdles from Paul Byrne (St Abban’s AC) while Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) finished third in 52.45 secs, achieved the qualifying standard for the European junior championships.

Australian David McNeill, last year’s NCAA 5,000m champion, was caught by the main field going into the last lap but surged clear again to win the 3,000m. Clonmel’s Sean Tobin who has qualified for the European Youth Olympics shaved almost two seconds off his pb with an 8:31.54 run.

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