Canada’s Crystal Emmanuel shone brightest at the 66th edition of the Cork City Sports last night, the 25-year-old blasting to a national record of 22.50 in a race in which Bandon’s Phil Healy broke new ground with a huge personal best of 23.32.
In warm, still conditions at Cork IT, Emmanuel powered away from the field from the outset, rounding the turn two metres to the good and that was an advantage she extended all the way to the line to smash the Canadian record of 22.62, which dates back to 1983.
Runner-up was Jodie Williams of Britain in 23.27, with Healy coming home strongly in third to take more than three tenths of a second off her lifetime best. Her time fell shy of the qualifying standard for the world championships in London (23.10), but proved the perfect preparation for the 22-year-old ahead of this weekend’s national championships in Santry.
Earlier in the night Emmanuel endured a narrow defeat in the women’s 100m, touched off by world indoor champion Barbara Pierre who ran a stadium record of 11.31 to edge Emmanuel (11.32). Healy finished fifth in 11.73.
The men’s mile produced a thrilling finish, with American Sam Prakel outlasting Stewart McSweyn, 3:55.89 to 3:55.97. Back in third, Clonmel’s Sean Tobin was hugely impressive, the 22-year-old clocking 3:57.00 to take almost two seconds off his previous best.
Javier Culson of Puerto Rico was a class apart in the men’s 400m hurdles, the two-time world silver medallist clocking 49.78 ahead of Curtis Beach of the US, who ran 50.40. Timmy Crowe was the first of the Irish home in 55.40.
Sean McLean was the standout male sprinter on the night, clocking 10.61 to win the men’s 100m into a strong headwind (-3.5m/s), a race that had to be re-run after a start malfunction earlier in the evening.
McLean returned to the track shortly after to win the 200m in 20.53, again into a stiff headwind (-1.5m/s).
Fellow American Brandon Carnes finished runner-up in 20.75, while Leon Reid, the British sprinter who has applied to represent Ireland, was third in 20.78. Earlier in the evening Reid won the B final of the 100m in 10.96.
Canada’s Sheila Reid was an impressive winner of the women’s 3000m, holding off the challenge of Nicole Tully to win in 8:54.60, but it was a disappointing evening for Irish Olympian Michelle Finn, the Leevale athlete coming home 17th in 9:22.69.
Sophie O’Sullivan, the 15-year-old daughter of Sonia O’Sullivan, gave the crowd an exhibition in the junior women’s 800m, defeating Irish junior champion Jo Keane of Ennis Track in 2:13.84.
In the men’s 3000m, Australia’s Collis Birmingham hit the front with 1,000m to run but was unable to fend off the challenge of Reid Buchannan, the American stealing victory in the home straight in 7:50.26.
Antonio Mascoll of Barbados was fastest in the men’s 800m, winning in 1:47.47, while the women’s race was won with ease by American Laura Roesler in 2:02.95.
The women’s hammer produced a meeting record from Sweden’s Ida Storm, who opened with a throw of 69.29m to put the contest to bed. She extended that to 71.19m in the fourth round to take victory well clear of Britain’s Jess Mayho, who threw 60.54m.
Emma Nuttall of Brtain claimed victory in the women’s high jump with 1.83m, a height also cleared by compatriot Emily Borthwick, but Nuttall was given the verdict after clearing 1.80m at the second attempt, a height Borthwick needed three attempts to get over.
Chuk Enekwechi threw a whopping 21.07m to win the men’s shot put, his winning effort coming in the final round and giving him victory by 56cm over New Zealand’s Jacko Gill.
Leevale’s Matthew Murnane was an impressive winner of the junior men’s 1,500m in 4:04.11, while the open men’s 3000m went to Raheny’s Eoin Strutt in 8:39.10.
Making its return this year was the inter-firm relay, which saw Johnson Controls taking victory in the 4x200m mixed race in 1:53.37, while the men’s 4x200m was won by Zenith Technologies in 1:32.75.
Britain’s Allan Hamilton was best in the men’s long jump, his 7.71m leaving him well clear of Ireland’s Adam McMullen (7.49m). Chris Baker took the men’s high jump with 2.28m.
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