Ireland’s team for Helsinki reduced to 11 as injury forces Gillick out

IRELAND’S representation at the World Athletics Championships in Helsinki was down to 11 yesterday following the withdrawal of David Gillick.

The European indoor 400m champion, who has been plagued by a hamstring injury since late June, missed the national championships and was not fit to participate in Saturday’s Dublin International Games at Morton Stadium.

Along with James Nolan (1,500m), who missed the nationals due to an Achilles tendon problem, and Paul Hession (200m), who was recovering from a back injury, Gillick had been given the opportunity to prove his fitness at that meet.

But the Dubliner admitted yesterday that Helsinki ‘would be a bridge too far’ since he had only resumed his training schedule last week.

Both Nolan and Hession came through the international at Morton Stadium unscathed, finishing third in the Morton Memorial Mile and the 200m, respectively, and were immediately declared fit to travel to Finland.

The Athenry sprinter, who has missed most of the season with what was a persistent back problem, also has the world student games in Turkey later in the month and Gillick, a student at the Dublin Institute of Technology, is also on that team.

Racewalker, Robert Heffernan, will complete his preparations for the world championships in Poland this week under the watchful eye of the legendary Robert Korzeniowski.

The full team is: Men: 200m, Paul Hession (Athenry); 1,500m, James Nolan (UCD); 110m Hurdles, Peter Coghlan (Crusaders); 20k Walk, Robert Heffernan (Togher).

Women: 400m, Karen Shinkins (Dublin City Harriers); 5,000m, Maria McCambridge (Dundrum South Dublin); 10,000m, Marie Davenport (Marian AC); 100m Hurdles, Derval O’Rourke (Leevale); 3,000m Steeplechase, Roisin McGettigan (Sli Cualann); 20k Walk, Olive Loughnane (Loughrea); Hammer, Eileen O’Keeffe (Kilkenny City Harriers).

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