Race report: International Track

July 24, 2023

Ciara Mageean produced the run of her life to set a new Irish women’s mile record of  4:14.58 when at the Diamond League meeting in Monaco on Friday (July 21), taking almost three seconds off Sonia O’Sullivan’s 1994 record of 4:17.26. Mageean’s previous best of  4:19:03 dated back to  2019.  

Mageean finished second in the race behind runaway winner Faith Kipyegon from Kenya who was setting a new world record time of 4:07.64, almost five seconds faster than any woman had run before. In the race, all but one of the thirteen finishers recorded a personal best time, with national records set not just for Ireland but also for the UK and France and continental records set for North America, South America, and Australasia. Contributing hugely to those records are the faster tracks, experienced pacemakers, pacemaking lights systems, and, of course, the ‘super’ shoes. 

Also in Monaco,  Rhasidat Adeleke finished a close fourth in the women’s 400m  with a time of 49.99 secs; her fourth time under the 50 minute barrier since late May. Adeleke was lying second with the line in sight but was passed by Polish athlete Natalia Kaczmarek, who won the race in 49.63 seconds. 

In the 100m hurdles, Sarah Lavin of Emerald AC was fractionally outside the personal best she set in Stockholm earlier this month,  running 12.74 secs to finish seventh.

Two days later, at the Diamond League in London, three Irish athletes were in action. First up was rising wheelchair star Shauna Bocquet of Craughwell AC who finished fourth in the wheelchair 800m in 1:51.55. Bocquet, aged just nineteen, recently competed at her first World Para Games, where she qualified for the 1500m final, finishing tenth in a personal best 3:31.05. She also competed in the 100m and 400m.

In the mens’ 1500m, Andrew Coscoran of Star of the Sea AC finished 14th in 3:32.42, well off the Irish record 3:30.42 he had set a week earlier. Michelle Finn of Leevale AC lined out in the women’s steeplechase and battled it out all the way to the line to record a season’s best time of 9:34.76. Finn, a double Olympian,  will aim to win her ninth national steeplechase title in Santry next Saturday (July 29).

In his second race of the week, Cathal Doyle of Clonliffe Harriers won the 1500m at the Flanders Cup meet in Ninove on Saturday (July 22) in 3:36.85. Shane Bracken of Swinford AC clocked 3:41.06, while in the women’s 800m, Claire Mooney, now with Crusaders AC, recorded a time of 2:05.13. Ger O’Donnell of Carrick-on-Shannon AC  finished sixth overall in the 110m hurdles with a time of 14.31 secs, while junior athlete Seán Carmody of Leevale AC was ninth in 14.53. 

At the Wiesław Czapiewski Memorial combined events competition, in Bydgoszcz, Poland over the weekend, Irish heptathlon record holder Kate O’Connor of Dundalk St Gerard’s AC recorded a time of 14.81 secs for the 100m hurdles despite tripping and falling badly at the last hurdle. She went on to record a height of 1.74m in the high jump and a distance of 13.06m in the shot before pulling out of the competition amid concerns about concussion.

In Spain, at the Madrid Continental Meet on Saturday (July 22), Eric Favors of Raheny Shamrock finished fourth in the shot with a heave of 20:51 in the second round. Chris O’Donnell of North Sligo AC finished third in the 400m in a season’s best 45.73 secs. 

Just two days earlier, Favors finished third in the men’s shot  with a best of 20.18 at the Spitzen Leichathletik held in Luzern, Switzerland on Thursday (July 20)

In the 15600m, Luke McCann of  UCD AC finished sixth with a time of 3:38.  Not far behind was Nicholas Griggs of Belfast Candour AC eighth in 3:38.44.

 UCD AC’s Israel Olatunde ran 10.49 secs to finish sixth in the third of four heats and 13th overall.

Meet director for the  Luzern meet is Terry McHugh who still holds the Irish record for the men’s javelin.  

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