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Registered Cork Athletics Events Week Ending Sun August 28th 2016

Registered Cork Athletics Events for Week Ending Sunday August 28th 2016

 Events Weekend August 28th 2016 min


This week's Registered Athletics Ireland Events


With the evenings starting to draw in, the frenzy of evening races the we became accustomed to since late Spring is coming to a close.  We have just two registered evening events this week:

Thursday, 25th, 19:30, Ballycotton - Ballycotton 5 Mile Road Race - The last in the Ballycotton 5 Summer Series

Friday, 26th: 19:45, CIT Track - Cork Athletics Graded Leagues - Round 6 - Sponsored by John Buckley Sports - The final meet of this year's Leagues

On Sunday, 28th, there are two registered events, both at 10am, in two Locations:

10:00 Ballincollig Regional Park - Ballincollig AC Heritage Week 3k Road Race

10:00 Clonakilty - Clonakilty 10 Mile & 5k Road Races


Ballycotton Summer Road Race Series Flyer 2016 
 Graded Leagues 2016 Series Header 
Ballincollig Heritage Week 3k Course Map August 2016 min Clonakilty 10 Mile Road Race Flyer 2016

Rio 2016 Athletics Ireland Day 8 Report

Rio Olympics - Athletics Day 8

Friday August 14th 2016

Rio 2016 Logo

Rio Olympics 2016 Irish 50k Racewalk Trio min

Irish Athletes in Action Today

Day 8 Friday August 19

Rio timeIrish timeEventAthlete
08:00 12:00pm 50km Race Walk M Final Robert Heffernan (Togher)
08:00 12:00pm 50km Race Walk M Final Brendan Boyce (Letterkenny)
08:00 12:00pm 50km Race Walk M Final Alex Wright (Leevale)

Live TV
RTE News Now - Sky Channel 578


Athletics Ireland Report - Friday August 18th

Report by Feidhlim Kelly

Heffernan a fine fifth at fifth Olympics

Robert Heffernan (Togher) finished a magnificent fifth in the 50km race walk in 3:43:55 in his fifth Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro today (August 19).

Heffernan initially crossed the line in sixth but Japan’s Hirooki Arai (third across the line) was subsequently disqualified due to a collision with Canada’s Evan Dunfee. Brendan Boyce (Letterkenny) broke into the top 20 with an excellent 18th in 3:53:59. Unfortunately Alex Wright (Leevale) was forced to withdraw mid-race due to a fluid intake problem.

“At 36-38km I thought I was going to win it,” said Heffernan afterwards. “I got bad cramps then but it’s still a magnificent performance. I’m still there or there abouts so you’ve to take the positives.

“This is the only day of the year that counts. Obviously I would have liked to have won a medal. I love training in the summer and I love training for these championships. It’s all about tunnel vision and getting ready for the big day.

“I’ve got such great support and messages from everyone on Facebook and Twitter and it helps when you’re working hard in that last 10 kilometres. I would have loved to have won a medal for them but it’s still a great performance.”

Heffernan has a remarkable Olympic record since making his debut in Sydney in 2000. He finished 8th in the 20km in Beijing in 2008, 9th in the 20km and third in the 50km in London 2012, and fifth in the 50km in Rio today.

His splits were as follows: 5km 22:39, 10km 44:48, 15km 1:06:53, 20km 1:29:05, 25km 1:51:12, 30km 2:13:02, 35km 2:34:55, 40km 2:57:18, and 45km 3:20:14.

Brendan Boyce was delighted with his top 20 performance and felt he got his race plan spot on. “I stuck to my race plan. I went off conservatively for the first 10km. I got in with a good group and it held together for about 25-35km and then people went into their own zones but I was always catching people.

“Physically my energy was good, my energy was good. My hip flexors got at me at 35km and cost me probably ten seconds per kilometre pace wise but I didn’t hit the wall. I’m delighted with how I’ve progressed.”  
You can watch video interviews on Athletics Ireland Facebook page:


Official Results, including Live Splits

MarkLeaderRob HeffernanAlex WrightBrendan Boyce



 22:39 (5)  22:59 (21)  23:32 (48)



 44:48 (3)  45:51 (18) 46:43 (44)



1, possibly 2 yellows

1:06:53 (7) 1:08:38 (21) 1:08:37 (42)



1:29:05 (9) 1:31:15 (11)
Leading 2nd group)
 1:32:27 (37)
25k 1:49:31 1:51:12  (5)  1:54:10 (26)  1:55:46 (34)
30k  2:11:29  2:13:02 (5) 2:19:45 (34)
TV reports Alex Wright has collapsed on course
2:18:58 (30)
  Diniz has stopped but has restarted   Alex Wright appears to be still going! Waiting for confirmation.
Appears that a Hungarian athlete in similar colours was mistaken by TV for Alex Wright.
35k Dunfee
2:34:55 (7) No time split listed for Alex Wright 2:42:20 (29)
  Diniz has had a full blown collapse, but has restarted again   Alex Wright has pulled out  
40k Tallent
2:57:18 (6)   3:06:24 (24)
45k  Tallent
3:20:14 (6)   3:30:21 (21)
50k - Finish

 World Champion Toth Wins!

Tallent 2nd 3:41:16

Arai 3rd - 3:41:38

3:43:55 (6)   3:53:59 (19)


Rob Heffernan Videos

Rob & Marian Heffernan Interviewed by RTE Sport


Rob Heffernan Interview

Brendan Boyce Interview

Start of 50k Racewalk

Rio Olympics 2016 Irish 50k Racewalk Start

10k Splits

Rio Olympics 2016 Irish 50k Racewalk 10 splits


Rio Olympics 2016 Irish 50k Racewalk 15k

20k Splits

Rio Olympics 2016 Irish 50k Racewalk 20k


Rio Olympics 2016 Irish 50k Racewalk 25k


30k Splits

Rio Olympics 2016 Irish 50k Racewalk 30k splits

40k Splits

Rio Olympics 2016 Irish 50k Racewalk 40k splits

Rio 2016 Athletics Ireland Day 6 Report

Rio Olympics - Athletics Ireland Day 5 Report

Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday August 16th 2016

Athletics Ireland report by Feidhlim Kelly

 Ciara Everard Athletics Ireland a min

Everard gives her all in 800m heats

Ciara Everard (UCD) gave her all but ultimately finished 8th in heat 1 of the women’s 800m in 2:07.91.

Everard had a race against time after a ten week injury lay-off due to a navicular stress fracture. “I made the classic mistake of pushing too hard in Olympic year and got injured,” said the Kilkenny woman afterwards. “I was as positive as possible and got the most out of myself. I know I’m better than that.

“I love competing. It’s been a tough summer watching the Europeans from the sidelines. I was so up for it today even off limited preparation. It’s championships like this that gets you through the winter months. This is what it’s all about. I’m annoyed I wasn’t able to do myself justice but it is what it is.

“It’s been my first year training full-time. It’s all a learning curve and I feel I’ve learned a lot. In my mind mentally I feel I’ve come on a lot this year. I’ve had a lot of challenges and this year and I’ve learned to adapt to them. As an athlete you have to learn to adapt to situations and I look forward to doing myself justice in the future.”

Everard, a qualified physiotherapist, was full of praise for the Institute of Sport for getting to her on the start line in one piece.

“The institute have been absolutely fantastic,” she said. “The medical team there are an absolute credit to themselves. There’s world class facilities and world class service providers. They have been phenomenal. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for them. I really appreciate them. It’s about moving on from here now.” 



Thursday, August 18th, 13:30  - Rio Olympics - Athletics Day 7

Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) goes in the Olympic 400m Hurdles final at 16:00 Irish time.  Thomas is third fastest of the finalists, and is Ireland's first Olympic sprint finalist since Bob Tisdall, in 1932

Thomas Barr's 400m Hurdles Semi-Final win


Full Olympic Athletics Schedule and Timetable

Athletics Ireland Reports

Dublin Marathon - National Championship - 2016 Entries Extended

2016 Dublin Marathon Entry Limit Extended to 19,500

Dublin Marathon logo 2016

Release from SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon

"Following consultation with the relevant authorities, we're delighted to announce that we will be increasing our SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon race capacity from 17,500 to 19,500 in order to cater for the increase in demand this year.

The 2,000 entries will be allocated to participants registered on our Marathon waiting list & we will be contacting everyone on Wednesday 31st August.

For more information on our event, visit our website on: "

Some Questions that have already been asked and answered

Q    Is it too late to even get on the waiting list?

SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon -  Waiting list is available on:

Q   How many people are on the waiting list, and if you got on the list early do you get in or is it random selection?

SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon - We won't be making that figure public for now & allocation will not be based on 1st come 1st served - thanks

Q  Is there no chance you can let us know sooner?

SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon - No it'll be 31st Aug as we're also waiting for our groups to return their entries as well so that we can reallocate everything

According to SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon, "There will be a draw in two weeks time for any places that are available"

Update - 2pm, Tuesday August 16th

SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon have responded to Cork Athletics queries

Q.  What is the position with entries to the Athletics Ireland National Marathon Championships?

SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon - All those on the waiting list, including any that may be hoping to run in the Athletics Ireland National Marathon Championships, will be entered in the draw for places.  There will be no preference given to any individual on the waiting list.

Q.  How is the draw being done?

SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon - The draw will be carried out by an outside body, independent of the SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon, and will be fully transparent and impartial.

Q.  How many people are currently on the waiting list (at 2pm on Tues Aug 16th)?

SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon - We had 600 - 700 last night, we now have approx 2,000.

Q. The limit has been extended several times already, what are the prospects of a further extension?

SSE Airtricity Dublin Marathon - There will be no further extension. We are at the full capacity that the event can take, considering safety and logistics. Last night's meeting, involving all of the authorities concerned, agreed the final limit.




Rio 2016 Athletics Ireland Day 4 Report

Rio Olympics - Athletics Ireland Day 4 Report

Rio de Janeiro, Monday August 15th 2016

Thomas Barr Rio Olympic 400m Hurdles Round 1 Heat 4 min

Athletics Ireland report by Feidhlim Kelly

Barr Delivers in Rio as Treacy Finishes 17th in Hot Steeplechase Final

Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) was back to his best in the heats of the men’s 400m hurdles qualifying for the semi-finals with a massive season’s best of 48.93 seconds while Sara Treacy (Dunboyne) finished 17th in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase final in 9:52.70 (August 15).

“I’m delighted,” said Barr afterwards on finishing second in heat 4 behind Japan’s Keisuke Nozawa who ran 48.62.

“I didn’t know I’d have that in me,” he continued having struggled with injury for large parts of the year. “To go sub 49 in really my first proper race of the year where I’m actually race fit and ready to go is incredible. I’m as much relieved as I am excited and delighted. I’ve gotten through that with a good time.”

Barr will now go in the third semi-final tomorrow in lane 4 with the first two in each qualifying by right and the next two fastest non-automatic qualifiers. He will be looking to chase down Norway’s Karsten Warholm who impressed in qualifying.

Sara Treacy Rio Olympic Steeplechase Final min

Sara Treacy gave it all she had in a hot 3,000m steeplechase won by Bahrain’s Ruth Jebet in 8:59.75 – just outside the world record of 8:58.81. It was equally hot in temperature with the track side thermometer reading 35 degrees Celsius.

“I would like to have run faster but I gave it everything – my legs just wouldn’t give anymore back,” said the Dunboyne athlete afterwards. “It was pretty hot,” Treacy joked. “It was the same for everyone – although we don’t get much weather like that in Ireland. I used as much recovery strategies as I could. I wanted better but I made it into the Olympic final and I’m more determined for next year.” 



Tuesday, August 16th, 13:30  - Rio Olympics - Athletics Day 5

Tori Pena (Finn Valley) will also be in action tomorrow, at 13:45pm, in the qualifying rounds of the women's pole vault, while Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) goes in the 400m Hurdles at 01:30am on Wednesday morning.

Full Olympic Athletics Schedule and Timetable

Rio 2016 Athletics Ireland Day 2 Report

Rio Olympics - Athletics Ireland Day 2 Report

Rio de Janeiro, Saturday August 13th 2016

 Rio Olympics Irish Women Steeplechasers

Sara Treacy Makes Olympic Steeplechase Final

Athletics Ireland report by Feidhlim Kelly

Sara Treacy (Dunboyne) put in a heroic effort in heat 3 of the women’s 3,000m steeplechase and advanced to the final on appeal after being impeded at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro today (August 13).

Treacy finished 12th in heat 3 in 9:46.24 but was impeded and fell when in contention. Ethiopia’s Etenesh Diro and Jamaica’s Aisha Praught, who finished 7th and 8th in 9:34.70 and 9:35.79 respectively, also advanced to the final as a result of the collision.

The Meath woman took a heavy fall on the infield and was left bloody and shaken – but not defeated. “This is not going to define my Olympics. Get up and get going,” was the Dunboyne athlete’s response on when she fell hitting the inside of the track on the grass. Treacy had passed through the mixed zone before hearing the news of her qualification but commenting on the incident she said:

“I caught up with the back of the pack and someone just stopped and everyone ran into the back of them. I tried to avoid it and I stepped on the inside of the track. It all happened so quickly. I stood on a drainage grate on the inside of the track and fell completely. I just completely lost momentum and lost the whole pack and had to get going again.”

Treacy remained upbeat and determined afterwards. “It’s all it’s cracked up to be,” she said of the Olympics. “I’ll have to get ready for London (world championships) next year.” She need not wait that long with the women’s 3,000m steeplechase final on Monday August 15 at 11:15 Brazil time/15:15 Irish time.

Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle) produced a season’s best of 9:45.35 finishing 14th in heat 1. “It was a season’s best and it’s been great on this journey with the girls and creating history with the three of us at the Olympics.” This was a the first time a full quota of Irish women made the steeplechase at the Olympics.

Michelle Finn (Leevale) finished 11th in heat 2 in 9:and 49.45 and felt she could have gone faster. “I really do think overall I could have done a little. I had more left but it was a great experience.”

Mark English 5th in 1:45.93 in Men's 800m Semi on Olympic Debut

Mark English Rio 2016 Olympic 400m Semi min

Mark English (UCD) bowed out of the Olympics after a fifth place finish in his 800m semi-final final in 1:45.93 in Rio de Janeiro (August 13).

The Donegal man went in the third and final semi-final, needing to better the Irish record of 1:44.82 to be in with a chance of qualification. The first two in each semi and two fastest non-automatic qualifiers advanced to the final.  

Kenya’s world record holder David Rudisha was in impressive form to win English’s semi in 1:43.88. “I wanted to go out there and have no regrets,” said English afterwards. “I did the best race I could. It was always going to be tough running two races in two days.” The UCD medicine student had missed an important part of training in the build-up due to injury.

“I’m always looking to better myself and I focus on the process,” he concluded afterwards and he will continue to race for the rest of the season.

Irish in action on Day 3, Sunday August 14

09:30/13:30 Marathon - Women's Final - Lizzie Lee (Leevale), Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole) and Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers)

Rio Olympics Ciara Mageean Women 1500m Round 1

21:30/1:30am 1500m Women's Semi-Final - Ciara Mageean (UCD)

Full Olympic Athletics Schedule, including Irish Athletes timetables

Rio Olympics - Athletics Day 3 - Sunday, August 14th, 13:30

Rio 2016 Athletics Ireland Day 10 Report

Rio Olympics - Athletics Day 10

Sunday August 21st 2016

Rio 2016 LogoRio 2016 Olympic Marathon Irish Mens Team min


Men's Marathon - Final Athletics Event of Rio Olympics

Irish Splits & Updates

It's lashing in Rio.  Hopefully the humidity is ok, so the marathon won't be a matter of atttition and survival, like last week's women's Marathon and the Race Walks. There were 155 starters, assuming that nobody dropped out before the 5k split.


SplitLeaderMick ClohisseyKevin SeawardPaul Pollock



16:11 (120)  16:24 (137)
16:12 (123)



 32:14 (105)
32:41 (130)
32:21 (124)



48:25 (98)
 49:02 (128)
 48:24 (96)
Rain has stopped and we're told that "the temperature is rising" and "humidity is approaching 90%".
High humidity will take an equally high toll!



1:04:46 (108) 1:05:19 (116) 1:04:36 (98)



 1:08:25 (107)
1:08:56 (116)   1:08:09 (96)



1:21:37 (103) 1:21:51 (110) 1:20:53 (94)



1:39:03 (105)  1:38:31 (98)
 1:37:01 (74)
35k Kipchoge
1:57:53 (104)
1:55:29 (86)
1:52:58 (49)
40k Kipchoge
2:17:58 (101)  2:12:43 (69)
2:09:20 (34)



2:26:34 (104) 2:20:06 (64)
 2:16:24 (32)

Athletics Ireland Report

Feidhlim Kelly

Pollock Finishes Strongly to Place 32nd in Olympic Marathon

Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders) came through the field strongly to finish 32nd in a high quality Olympic men’s marathon in 2:16:24 to round out the athletics programme in Rio de Janeiro today (August 21).

Kevin Seaward (St Malachy’s) finished 64th in 2:20:06 while Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock) was 103rd in 2:26:34.

Pollock was aiming for a top 20 performance in but was still reasonably pleased with his performance in wet and muggy conditions.  

“It was an ok performance,” said Pollock afterwards of the race won by Kenya’s Eliud Kipchoge in 2:08:44. “A top 20 performance was the first goal. I went out 30 seconds to a minute slower for the first half than the plan had been but the legs didn’t come around until the second half.” Pollock passed through halfway in 68:09 in 96th place and came through strongly in the second half gaining over 60 places.   

“I came through strongly in the second half and this should give me a good platform to produce an even better performance in the major championships. It’s been great to see the rise in the number of athletes get the marathon standards and I’m aiming for London (World Championships) in 2017.”

It was a battle of will, and skill, for Kevin Seaward and Mick Clohisey who were struggling in the coming into the race with various ailments. “I picked up some kind of a bug a few days beforehand,” said Seaward who battled on to place 64th. Equally Clohisey had some issues in the final build-up with a virus and foot infection but dug deep to finish. “It was tough out there. My family out supporting on the course got me through it.” Both were tired but proud Olympians afterwards.

Rio 2016 Athletics Ireland Day 7 Report

Rio Olympics - Athletics Ireland Day 7 Report

Rio de Janeiro, Thursday August 18th 2016

Athletics Ireland report by Feidhlim Kelly

Thomas Barr Rio 2016 Olympic 400m Hurdles Final min

Fantastic Fourth for Thomas Barr

Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) put in the performance of his life to finish a fantastic fourth in the final of the 400m Hurdles at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in a new national record of 47.97 seconds today (August 18).

Barr was delighted with what was arguably the greatest Irish men’s track and field performance of the modern era.

“Aw lads, so close,” said a delighted Barr afterwards. “Close but no cigar this time round. I’m absolutely thrilled with what’s my first Olympics. 47 seconds, that really puts me on the map.”


Video - Thomas Barr talks to RTE Sport after the Race

Video - Thomas Barr talks to Athletics Ireland after the Race


Barr’s 47.97 clocking is truly world class territory – the last athlete not to medal running sub 48 was in Atlanta in 1996 by Sweden's Sven Nylander in 47.98 who also finished fourth. Until today, only one athlete since 2013 has run under 48 seconds. The last time four athletes went under 48 seconds was fifteen years ago.

The Ferrybank athlete has struggled through much of the year with injuries but an 11 week block of training masterminded by his coaches Haley and Drew Harrison has paid dividends alongside his support team.

“It’s been absolutely immense,” he said. “It’s been a tough year. I’d like to thank everyone who has stood by me – especially in the tough times. My coaches Haley and Drew (Harrison) have gotten me into such good fitness – not just for one good race but for three good races and a new national record of 47 seconds.

“I’d like to give a big thanks to my physio Emma Gallivan and my friends and my housemates. For all the support for the last three or four days from the fans has been absolutely fantastic.”
Thomas Barr's races by numbers

48.39 NR
47.97 NR

Rio 2016 Athletics Ireland Day 5 Report

Rio Olympics - Athletics Ireland Day 5 Report

Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday August 16th 2016

Athletics Ireland report by Feidhlim Kelly

Brilliant Barr Makes History in Rio

Thomas Barr Wins Rio Olympic 400mH Semi Final min

Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) became the first Irish athlete since Bob Tisdall in 1932 to make an Olympic sprint final after a breath taking performance to win his 400m Hurdles semi-final in a new national record of 48.39 seconds.

Thomas Barr Interviewed by David Gillick

“I’m shaking like a leaf. I’m delighted,” said an ecstatic Barr afterwards. “I went in really relaxed and I was able to track Karsten Warholm (Norway) on my outside. I know I’ve a really good finish. I’m not being cocky. I was smiling coming over that last hurdle.”

The Ferrybank star was in fourth place coming into the home straight but produced a sizzling finish to win his semi and go into the final as the third fastest qualifier.

“Anything is possible now,” he said. “I want to thank my coach Haley Harrison and Emma Gallivan (Athletics Ireland/Sport Ireland physio) for all the physio and pushing me on. I’ll rest up now and get ready for the final.”

The men’s 400m hurdles final takes place on Thursday (August 18) at 4pm Irish time – making it a midday start in Rio. Barr has been drawn in lane 4 for the final. Bob Tisdall also ran in the 400m Hurdles and won gold.

400m Hurdles Final

The final takes place tomorrow, Thursday, at 4pm Irish time. Barr has earned a great lane draw of Lane 4.


Tori Pena Rio Olympics 2016 Womens Pole Vault min


Pena Bows Out in Pole Vault Qualifying

Tori Pena (Finn Valley) was unable to qualify for the women’s Olympic pole vault final, after finishing 14th in Group B with a best of 4.30m (August 16).

Pena had a first time clearance at 4.15m, before advancing on to 4.30m, which she cleared on her second attempt. Unfortunately she had three failures at 4.45m.

The Finn Valley athlete has had an improved season on the international stage – she was close to qualifying for the European Championships final in Amsterdam in July. Today’s performance consolidated her progression. This was Pena’s second Olympics, having competed in London.

To date this has been Ireland’s most successful Olympics on the track since 1996, with four athletes progressing through the first round, including Sara Treacy (Dunboyne) making the women’s 3,000m steeplechase final. Mark English and Ciara Mageean (both UCD) made the 800m and 1500m semi-finals respectively. Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) is bidding to qualify for the final of the 400m hurdles tonight.

Thomas Barr



Tuesday, August 16th, 13:30  - Rio Olympics - Athletics Day 5

Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) goes in the 400m Hurdles at 01:30am on Wednesday morning.


Wednesday, August 17th, 13:30  - Rio Olympics - Athletics Day 6

Ciara Everard (UCD AC) goes in Round 1 of the Women's 800m at 14:55 Irish time

Full Olympic Athletics Schedule and Timetable

Athletics Ireland Reports


Registered Cork Athletics Events Week Ending Sunday August 21st 2016

Registered Athletics Ireland Events - Week Ending Sunday August 21st

Events Weekend August 21st 2016 min

This week's Registered Athletics Ireland Events


After last week's feast of nine events, this is a relatively quieter week, with 'just' 5 race venues on offer:
On Friday, August 19th, there is a choice of two races: Liscarroll Open 10k and Coachford Autumn Festival 5


Liscarroll AC Road Race Flyer 2016 Coachford Autumn Festival 5 Mile Road Race Flyer 2016


Saturday 20th: scenic Rostellan sees the inaugural East Cork Harbour Marathon Series, with a Marathon, Half-Marathon and 10k

East Cork Harbour Marathon FB Banner 2016


Sunday 20th: Locally, Skibbereen AC hold their annual Noreen McCarthy Memorial 10k. Further afield, in Tullamore, the Glohealth National Masters T&F Championships take place.

Glohealth National Masters Track and Field Championships Schedule 2016 Skibbereen 10k Road Race Flyer 2016 min

Rio 2016 Athletics Ireland Day 3 Report

Rio Olympics - Athletics Ireland Day 3 Report

Rio de Janeiro, Sunday August 14th 2016
Irish Rio Olympics Womens Marathon Team min

Athletics Ireland report by Feidhlim Kelly

McCormack Excellent 20th in Olympic Marathon

Fionnuala McCormack (Kilcoole) finished an excellent 20th place in the women’s marathon in a personal best of 2:31:22 in searing heat at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro (August 14).

The Wicklow woman was backed up ably by Lizzie Lee (Leevale) 57th in 2:39:57 and Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers) 76th in 2:44:41.

This was Fionnuala McCormack’s third Olympic Games (3,000m steeplechase in Beijing 2008; 5,000m/10,000m in London 2012) and one which she believes is her best yet.

“It was tough but it was nice to be top 20 and I think it’s my best Olympics to date,” said McCormack. “Maybe I’m just lucky,” she continued with regards her ability to perform well in hot conditions. “It doesn’t phase me before the start. I know I can actually run in it.”

McCormack finished an excellent 14th at the World Cross Country Championships in Mombasa in 2007 and 16th in Punta Umbria in 2011 – both hot and testing conditions.

This was the Kilcoole athlete’s third marathon and her second in a championship – something which she prefers to the major marathon road circuit.  

“I like the championships,” she said “It’s racing rather than time trialling. I love running for my country. I think it was a very good course.” McCormack made her marathon debut at the European Championships in Zurich finishing 10th in 2:31:46 – her previous best time before today.

Irish Runner Video

Lizzie Lee was delighted with her top 60 position in brutal conditions. “I’m absolutely delighted,” she affirmed. “Sub 2:40 was the plan. It was so tough in the closing stages. We all felt it tough out there. It’s so hot out there. I’m an Olympian and no one can take that away from me.”

Leitrim’s Breege Connolly was equally delighted with her performance and was vastly ahead of her ranking in going into the race which had 158 competitors.

“It’s been the best running week of my life,” said Connolly afterwards who was pleased her hard work building up to the event paid off. “It was tough and I went to Monte Gordo (in Portugal) warm weather training. Nothing can prepare you properly for racing in the heat but I’m delighted with my run. It’s a relief after all the hard work.”

IAAF Marathon Report


Ciara Mageean Rio Olympic Semi 2016 min

Mageean’s Olympic Dream Comes to an End

Ciara Mageean’s (UCD) brave bid to become Ireland’s first female Olympic 1500m Finalist ended with an 11th place finish in the first semi-final in 4:08.07.

“I’m very disappointed,” said Mageean afterwards in a race won by one of the medal-favourites Faith Kipyegon in 4:03.95. The first five in each semi-final and the two next fastest non-automatic qualifiers advanced to the final.

“My preparation went really well and I’m upset I couldn’t deliver an Irish 1500m finalist. I got up in the qualifying positions and I was there with 200m to go but I just didn’t have the finish.

“I promise I’ll be back fitter, stonger and faster next year. These girls have three or four years of excellent running behind them. I’m disappointed but I will be back.”

It has been an excellent season for the Down woman who won European bronze in Amsterdam in July and has a platform to build on into next season. 

Athletics Timetables, including Irish Athletes event times

Sunday, August 14th, 13:30  - Rio Olympics - Athletics Day 3

Monday, August 15th, 13:30  - Rio Olympics - Athletics Day 4

Rio 2016 Athletics Ireland Day 1 Report

Rio Olympics - Athletics Ireland Day 1 Report

Rio de Janeiro, Friday August 12th 2016

 Alex Wright


Athletics Ireland report by Feidhlim Kelly

English Sails Through to Olympic Semi-Final

Mark English (UCD) put in an impressive display to qualify automatically for the semi-finals of the 800m finishing third in heat 6 in 1:46.40 at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro today (August 12).

English ran an excellent tactical race to come through the field and finish in the top three automatic qualifying positions. Brandon McBride (Canada) won the heat in 1:45.99 with European silver medallist Marcin Lewandowski (Poland) second in 1:46.35.

“You have to trust your own race plan and preparation went really well in Uberlandia,” said a composed English afterwards. The Irish team had a training camp in Uberlandia and arrived to the Village three days before the Championships. “The weather was good in Uberlandia and I practiced getting up early in the morning to get ready for the race.”  

The race was on at 10:55am Irish time and pre-race nerves provided the perfect adrenaline rush for the UCD medical student on his Olympic debut.

“I was nervous beforehand but you want that adrenaline,” said English who runs in the semi-final tomorrow (August 13th) at 22:05 Brazilian time and 2:05am Irish time.

“I treated that race like a final. I’ll need to run 1:44 to make the final.”


Battling Performance by Wright on Olympic Debut

Alex Wright (Leevale) put in a battling performance on his Olympic debut to finish 46th in the men’s 20km race walk in 1:25:25 in Rio de Janeiro today (August 12).

The race was won by Zhen Wang of China in 1:19:14. Wright was slightly disappointed with his performance but all his training is geared towards the 50km next Friday (August 19).

“I’m slightly disappointed with the result but all my training is geared towards the 50km next week,” said Wright afterwards. “This was difficult today. I wasn’t fully in control but I ground it out. I’ve been quite nervous all week. I feel more confident for next week and know what’s to come for next week. I’ll take the positives out of today.”

The 1km circuit proved problematic but will be extended to 2km next week. “It was a bit of mayhem at the start but it’s going to be exciting next week competing alongside the boys (Robert Heffernan and Brendan Boyce).  

This was a good step forward for Wright who was disqualified at the World Championships in Beijing last summer. “It was important to post a good result and this will bring me on. I dreamed of being an Olympian since I was a kid so it’s a special moment.”

Mageean shows her class to advance to semi-final

Ciara Mageean (UCD) showed her class to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s 1500m finishing second in her heat in 4:11.51 on day 1 of the athletics at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Mageean cut a focused and determined figure afterwards in a race won by Ethiopia’s gold medal favourite Genzebe Dibaba in 4:10.61. “If I didn’t think I’d qualify, I wouldn’t be here,” answered Mageean on qualifying for the semi-finals which take place on day 3 (August 13) at 21:30 Brazil time/1:30am Irish time.

The Portaferry woman was pleased with her performance and also drew inspiration from the silver medal-winning rowing brothers Paul and Gary O’Donovan. “It was great to see them medal and gives more motivation to perform at this level. I ran my own race and I just need to stay focused for the semi-finals.”


Full Olympic Athletics Schedule, including Irish Athletes timetables

Rio Olympics - Athletics Day 2 - Saturday, August 13th, 13:30


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