Ireland’s squad at European Indoor Championships

Ireland’s squad at European Indoor Championships

Paul Robinson of Ireland competes in the Men's 1500m heats during the European Indoor Athletics Championships at Arena Torun in Torun, Poland. Picture: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Leon Reid (60m): The 26-year-old ran a lifetime best of 6.68 seconds to qualify for the championships, but the shortest race in athletics will likely prove a little too short for this 200m specialist to make a major impact.

Israel Olatunde (60m): Experience is the name of the game for this gifted 18-year-old, who smashed the Irish U18 and U20 records with a 6.73 in Abbotstown recently. He likely won’t qualify from his heat, but the key will be to learn for future championships.

Dean Adams (60m): Last year’s national 60m champion was rewarded for his persistence in sticking with the sport by qualifying for European Indoors, where the 30-year-old will need something near his best of 6.73 to make the semi-final.

Ciara Neville (60m): Illness forced the Limerick sprinter to withdraw from the last European Indoors in Glasgow, and after clocking 7.30 this season, the 21-year-old will be looking to go close to Amy Foster’s Irish record of 7.27. Do that and she should make the semi-final.

Joan Healy (60m): The 28-year-old Bandon AC sprinter ran 7.42 recently in Dublin, but something substantially quicker will be needed to make it out of her heat.

Molly Scott (60m): The 21-year-old Carlow sprinter is better known as a hurdler but her rocket start is always useful in this realm. She’ll need to approach her best of 7.32 to advance from the heats.

Phil Healy (400m): Healy paid the price for going out too hard in the European Indoor 400m semi-final in 2019, but she will have learned from that. She set a PB of 51.99 in her only race this season, which will set her up for a bid at the final here.

Sophie Becker (400m): The 23-year-old national outdoor champion proved she wintered well with a 400m PB of 53.20 recently in Dublin, which she will need to repeat to earn a place in the semi-final.

Sharlene Mawdsley (400m): The 22-year-old Newport AC athlete booked her place here with an indoor 400m PB of 53.56 recently, and this will be a big learning experience at what is her first major championship at senior level.

Mark English (800m): Likely Ireland’s best medal hope, English is ranked sixth on season’s bests with his recent Irish indoor record of 1:46.10, but the 27-year-old has form over course and distance. If he can get a spot in Sunday’s final no result is out of bounds for him.

Cian McPhillips (800m): The 18-year-old Longford teen produced a stunning run behind Mark English to obliterate the Irish U20 and U23 records lately, clocking an astonishing 1:46.13, and he has nothing to lose at what will be the first of many senior championships.

John Fitzsimons (800m): A fearless racer, the 22-year-old Kildare athlete was European U20 bronze medallist in 2017, but it will be a surprise if makes it past the heats in this cutthroat environment.

Nadia Power (800m): Ranked fifth on season’s bests, Power will be eyeing a place in Sunday’s final, and that would be a brilliant achievement for the 23-year-old Dubliner. She has a medal chance, but it’s an outside chance.

Síofra Cléirigh-Buttner (800m): The 25-year-old produced the run of her life to break Power’s Irish record in Arkansas, her 2:00.58 putting her third on season’s bests of those in Torun. Securing place in the final will be tough, and a medal may prove just beyond her.

Georgie Hartigan (800m): Born and raised in England, Hartigan qualifies to run for Ireland via her grandparents, who come from Labasheeda in Clare. This will be her debut in green after the 25-year-old smashed her PB to clock 2:01.48 recently in Dublin.

Andrew Coscoran (1,500m): Ranked sixth on season’s bests with the 3:37.20 he ran last month, the 24-year-old unleashed a powerful final 400m in tonight’s heats to book his place in tonight’s final, and, while a medal may prove beyond him, the Dublin looks capable of a top-six finish.

Paul Robinson (1500m): The 29-year-old ran brilliantly in tonight’s 1500m heat to finish third in 3:40.07 and secure a place in his first European final for seven years, a just reward for his years of persistence through injury.

Luke McCann (1,500m): The 22-year-old Dubliner pulled out a huge run to qualify last month with a 3:40.03 solo effort in Dublin, and tonight ran bravely in his heat to go with gold medal favourite Jakob Ingebrigtsen but a trip on the final bend saw him fade to fifth and narrowly miss qualification with his time of 3:41.25.

John Travers (3,000m): Despite dealing with the death of his coach Jerry Kiernan last month, the 29-year-old set a huge PB to qualify with a 7:50.40 3000m in Dublin. A place in the final is realistic if he gets it right in Saturday’s heat.

Sean Tobin (3,000m): The 26-year-old is a classy operator who should be making the final, and a top-eight finish will be the least of his ambition if he gets there.

Brian Fay (3,000m): The 22-year-old got a late call-up after Darragh McElhinney’s positive Covid-19 test this week, and in his senior championship debut the Dubliner can be counted on to give a strong showing.

Michelle Finn (3,000m): It’s been a breakthrough year for the 31-year-old steeplechase specialist who set PBs over 1500m and 3000m, and in her heat of the women’s 3000m tonight she turned in a typically battling performance, her ninth-place finish in 9:05.

Sarah Lavin (60m hurdles): The 26-year-old set two personal bests last week in Madrid so arrives in flying form for her European Indoor debut, but she’ll be up against it from the outset given the depth around her.

Friday's Irish athletes in action (all times Irish)

10:30am: Sophie Becker (women’s 400m heats).

10:54am: Phil Healy (women’s 400m heats).

11:10am: Sharlene Mawdsley (women’s 400m heats).

12:16pm: Síofra Cléirigh-Büttner (women’s 800m heats).

12:32pm: Nadia Power (women’s 800m heats).

12:40pm: Georgie Hartigan (women’s 800m heats).

6:33pm: *Sophie Becker, Phil Healy, Sharlene Mawdsley (women’s 400m-semi-finals, *pending qualification).

7:02pm: Mark English (men’s 800m heats).

7:09pm: Cian McPhillips (men’s 800m heats).

7:16pm: John Fitzsimons (men’s 800m heats).

8:35pm: Paul Robinson, Andrew Coscoran (men’s 1500m final).

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