Not a huge amount of action this weekend just passed, but Lindie Naughton looks ahead to the Euro Indoor Champs too. 

Irish middle-distance athletes heading for the European Indoor Championships in Toruń, Poland at the weekend made the final touches to their preparations at the European Indoor tour final in Madrid on Wednesday (February 24).

In the women’s 800m, Nadia Power of Dublin City Harriers finished thirrd after making a determined effort to re-capture the Irish record broken by Síofra Cléirigh Buttner a few days earlier.

She attacked from the start, going through 400m in 58 seconds, but faded in the final 50m and finished third in 2:01.55 – the second fastest time of her career. Finishing fourth in 2:05.63 was Louise Shanahan of Leevale AC, who was unlucky to miss out on selection for Toruń.

In the 1500m, Andrew Coscoran of Star of the Sea AC ran a steady race to finish fifth in 3 mins 39.61 secs.

Meanwhile in a USA, a number of Irish athletes were running at an indoor meet in Kingston, Rhode Island. Alex O’Neill won the women’s 800m in 2:13.38, while in the 3000m, Laura Mooney recorded a personal best time of 9mins 41.39 secs.

Photo: Athletics Ireland / Sportsfile

Looking ahead Torun

Ireland is sending a a team of 24 to Toruń, including Mark English and Ciara Mageean who both took bronze medals in 2019.
In his only indoor race this season, English broke the Irish 800m record with a time of 1:46.10.

Mageean had shown mixed form this year, but set an Irish 800m record of 1:59.69 last July, becoming the first Irish woman to break two minutes for the distance. Unfortunately Mageean has withdrawn from the team.

Six women had 800m qualifying times for Toruń, with three the maximum allowed per event. Leading the Irish trio is Síofra Cléirigh Buttner of Dundrum South Dublin AC, currently ranked fourth in Europe for her Irish record-breaking time of 2 mins 00.58 secs last week.

Not far behind is Nadia Power, ranked seventh for her time of 2:00.98, while ranked eleventh is newly-minted Irish citizen Georgie Hartigan with a time of 2:01.48. All three should make it past the first round at least. The only other top-ten ranked Irish woman is Phil Healy whose time of 51.99 secs puts her fifth for the 400m.

Best ranked of the Irish men is Andrew Coscoran ranked 11th for his time of 3:37.20. Ranked 12th for the 3000m is Sean Tobin of Clonmel AC with a time of 7:48.01.

Included on the Irish squad are a number of up-and-coming stars, led by Darragh McElhinney 3000m and Cian McPhillips 800m, both with personal best times this season.