Athlone primed for All-Ireland athletics action

Ireland’s best young athletes are in Athlone this weekend while the nation’s best masters have been flying the flag in Daegu.

The first weekend of the Irish Life Health National Juvenile Indoor Championships continues a busy year for young starts. It will be a quick transition of surfaces for some of the athletes who competed in the All Ireland Schools Cross Country in Mallusk two weeks ago.

Emerald’s Rachel Hosey (U17 1500m), DSD’s Jodie McCann DSD (U18 1500) and Kilkenny City Harriers’ Shay McEvoy (U17 1500) will be exchanging the mud of Mallusk for the blue boards of Athlone.

Others to look out for in the Midlands include North Cork’s Megan Lenihan in the U15 shot put, Liscarroll’s Vickie Cusack in the U18 shot put and long jump, Somme Lecky (Finn Valley) in the U18 high jump and Gearóid McMahon (Shannon) in the U18 1500m walk.

Meanwhile in Daegu, Ireland’s masters have been striking gold at the World Masters Indoors. Drogheda and District’s Mark O’Shea got the gold spree underway winning the M45 800m, quickly followed by Joe Gough (West Waterford) cementing himself as a masters legend defending the M60 800m.

Further golds were added by Ann Woodlock (Donore Harriers) in the W75 3,000m and Brian Lynch (North East Dundalk) in the M60 3,000m.

The World Cross Country Championships take place in Kampala, Uganda on Sunday with no Irish representation. The world cross has deteriorated in the last 15 years with the domination of the East Africans and it moving from an annual to a bi-annual event.

This year they have added a 4x2km mixed relay to try and add some spice.

Domestically the Eirgrid Dunboyne 4 mile road race takes place on the same day.


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