Fionnuala Britton had a fine third place finish over 3,000m in Karlsruhe on Saturday evening, running a personal best of 8:55.22 behind Meseret Defar’s 8:35.28 as a host of Irish athletes competed around the globe.
Britton’s debut on the boards this season qualified her for the European Indoor Championships in Gothenburg which will be her first indoor international championships. Her next race will be in Stockholm on February 21st.
Cork and Leevale’s Derval O’Rourke and Ciarán Ó Lionaird also made their indoor bows competing in Athlone and Boston respectively. O’Rourke ran 7.54 in a mixed 60m race at the Leinster Indoor Championships at the AIT arena in Athlone and was satisfied with her performance. “I’m happy with that,” admitted O’Rourke. “I had a good start and just tightened up towards the end.” The former world indoor champion had been struggling with illness but her promising run bodes well for the rest of the indoor season. Her training partner Ailis McSweeney finished fourth over the same distance in Gent in 7.61.
Ó Lionáird made a welcome return to competition finishing fifth over 3,000m at the New Balance Indoor Games in Boston in 7:53.69 in a race won by Ethiopia’s Hagos Gebrhiwet in 7:32.87. Suffering from a bad back all week, Ó Lionáird was not going to compete so was happy with the result. “It’s grand. I’ll take it,” said the Cork man which was also a qualifying time for the European indoors.
In Australia, Paul Robinson underlined his step up in class as he won the 1500m at the Hunter Track Classic in 3:42.5 with Great British Olympian Nick McCormick among the scalps. Robinson has been training Down Under with the Melbourne Track Club since the turn of the year in what looks likely to be a breakthrough season.
Sticking with the metric mile, John Travers (AIT) continued his good run of form at the University Indoor Championships in Athlone on Friday, winning the 1500m in an excellent 3:44.24. DCU won the overall team title.
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