Victory of Luke McCann in Geneva

June 22, 2024

By Perri Williams

Six Irish athletes competed in Geneva, Switzerland today. This Bronze Level Continental Tour meet marks for many their second to last chance of gaining either Olympic Qualification Standards or ranking points enabling them to fall within the designated quota for their event. The Irish National Championships next weekend marks the final such opportunity.

Thomas Barr ran a great race in Poland a few days ago, recording a season’s best and dipping under the 49 sec mark. A watching nation here in Ireland, aspired him and almost willed him to record the 48.70 required to gain automatic qualification for Paris. Despite our best hopes and dreams and in spite of his second placed finish, it was sadly not to be for Barr today. He will now have to focus all his energy and aspirations on his race at the National Championships next weekend. Perhaps with the home crowd getting behind him he can turn on some of that magic that got him 4th place in Rio. The race was won by Alastair Chalmers (GBR) in 48.98 with Dutchman Nick Smidt (Ned) finishing third in 49.58.

Next to run was Cillian Green who ran 47.06 to finish 4th in the second heat of the 400m. Running slightly hard for the initial 150m, Green tried to close the gap on the leaders over the final 400m but ran out of steam. He has a personal best of 46.18 which he recorded back in 2021 at this same meeting in Geneva and came close to this with his season’s best in Mary Peters in May, taking victory in 46.37. Today’s time is the Galway City Harriers athlete’s second fastest this season.

Like Barr and Green, Luke McCann had hopes of bettering his time today. McCann pulled away from the lead runners down the home straight to post the fastest 1500m time of the day as he won heat two of the 1500m recording a time of 3.35.71. The Dubliner has already recorded a time of 3.33.66 this season which he achieved in Stockholm at the start of this month. This is just marginally shy of the Olympic qualifying standard. He currently lies in 34th place on the world rankings list, just one ahead of Andrew Coscoran. With such a ranking he should qualify for Paris as part of the quota. Should McCann, Coscoran, Cathal Doyle and Nick Griggs all opt to compete in the 1500m next weekend, the results could be interesting.

Somer Lecky (Finn Valley) competed in the High Jump finishing 11th with a leap of 1.74m and failing to jump 1.77m. It was Elizabeth Pihela (Estonia) who took the title jumping 1.89 to record a season’s best performance. Lecky is a former world junior silver medalist from 2018, where she jumped 1.90m, which is still her personal best. Staying with Jumps Saragh Buggy (St Abbans) finished 4th in the Triple Jump with a best leap of 12.64 from the final round. Buggy was a bit unnerved as she fouled her first two jumps, thus taking the third jump with caution and progressing from there. Finally in the shot put, Eric Favors, fresh from his European participation, threw 19.14m on his third round to finish 6th. While not a season’s best, he will endeavor to improve his performance in future competitions.

We will now look forward to the remaining competitions this week, cumulating with the Nationals next Saturday and Sunday.

Featured Image: Perri Williams

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