Ireland's fastest woman lives up to her billing at Athletics Championships

Ireland’s fastest woman lived up to her billing with a brilliant performance at the Irish Universities Athletics Championships in Athlone on Saturday.

Ireland's fastest woman lives up to her billing at Athletics Championships

Ireland’s fastest woman lived up to her billing with a brilliant performance at the Irish Universities Athletics Championships in Athlone on Saturday.

Phil Healy clocked the third fastest time in Irish history when winning the women’s 200m in 23.04. That was behind only the 22.99 national record Healy set last year and the 23.02 run by Sarah Reilly in 2001.

“I’m absolutely delighted,” said the Waterford IT student. “The wind was strong cutting across in the home straight and if the weather is better and I get into the right race with warm conditions and the right track, anything can happen.”

Another to impress was Marcus Lawler, the Carlow IT student routing the field to win the men’s 200m in 20.83, the quickest season debut of his career.

“The goal was to get the win and the time was secondary,” said Lawler.

I didn’t realise how fast it was until I crossed the line. It was brilliant.

Elsewhere Seán Tobin broke the course record to win the Sonia O’Sullivan 10-mile road race in Cobh, the Clonmel man making a quick turnaround after the World Cross Country to clock 48:34. Leevale Olympian Michelle Finn was first woman home in 57:26.

Alex Wright was the leading Irish finisher at the European race walking meeting in Podebrady, Czech Republic, the Leevale man eighth in the men’s 20km in 1:23:04. Brendan Boyce, a 50km specialist, was next home in 12th with a PB of 1:24:31. Waterford’s Kate Veale was 26th in the women’s 20km in 1:44:37.

At the Rotterdam Marathon Breege Connolly was the leading Irish finisher, the Rio Olympian clocking 2:37:49 to finish 13th in the women’s race. Sergiu Ciobanu was the first Irishman, 23rd in 2:19:52.

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