Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Looking ahead to the European Championships...Wed 27th June - Sun 1st July 2012
A complete schedule of events can be seen HERE
Ireland is sending a team of 26 athletes to the championships with some having a very real chance of getting amongst the medals.
Here is a selection of the athletes as previewed by Athletics Ireland...
Joanne Cuddihy (Kilkenny City Harriers)...Irish Record Holder..."Cuddihy will compete over 400m after what has been a very successful year so far for the Kilkenny athlete over the one lap distance. Cuddihy has been training and competing in Australia for the majority of the year, running a seasonal best time of 51.43 back in May to secure her place on the team. The last time these championships were held in Barcelona in 2010, Cuddihy was eliminated at the semi final stage of the competition. In Helsinki Cuddihy will aim to go one better and challenge for a top position."
Steven Colvert (Crusaders AC)..."Colvert has been selected to run in the 200m after making a big break through this year, becoming the National U23 Record Holder over 100m (10.35) and 200m (20.57). Colvert’s 200m time eclipsed the old mark (20.61) held by his training partner Paul Hession. On the basis of his current form Colvert has the potential to make a big impression in Helsinki and make the final."
Jason Smyth (City of Derry)...Double Para-Olympian..."Smyth is named in the team after running 10.24 in Clermont, Florida in May. Smyth also has a wind assisted 10.17 to his name this year. Smyth is in great shape this year and will target a place in the 100m final at these championships."
Amy Foster (North Down AC)..."Foster has been selected to compete in the 100m and 200m events. Foster tops the 2012 Irish rankings in the 100m with a time of 11.50 and has also ran an even quicker 11.32 this season, however this performance was wind assisted. Foster has also run 23.97 for the 200m which puts her in second place on the 2012 Irish rankings behind team mate Joanne Cuddihy."
Mark Kenneally (Clonliffe Harriers)..."Kenneally who has been nominated for Olympic marathon selection will compete in the 10,000m. Kenneally ran a personal best of 28.33.12 for 10,000m in May to qualify for Helsinki."
Tori Pena (Finn Valley AC)..."Pena will be the sole Irish representative. Pena set a new Irish pole vault record of 4.52m in April to gain selection for these championships. The record ranks Pena in tenth place on the 2012 European rankings going into Helsinki."
The women’s 4×400m team includes Irish record holder Joanne Cuddihy (KCH AC) and regulars, Marian Heffernan (Togher AC), Claire Bergin (DSD AC) Michelle Carey (Dublin Striders AC) and Jessie Barr (Ferrybank AC). The new additions include Catriona Cuddihy sister of Joanne (Kilkenny City Harriers AC) and Joanna Mills (Ballymena and Antrim AC). The squad has a seasonal best time of 3:30.61, which they ran in Poland at the beginning of June. These championships offer the squad a further opportunity to improve their time and ranking in order to secure Olympic qualification.
Irish record holder’s Deirdre Ryan (Dundrum South Dublin AC) and Derval O’Rourke (Leevale AC) will not compete in Helsinki, both preferring to focus all their intentions on the upcoming London Olympic Games.
IRISH TEAM FOR HELSINKI
Men's 100m: Jason Smyth (City of Derry).
200m: Steven Colvert (Crusaders) and Paul Hession (Athenry).
400m: Brian Gregan (Clonliffe).
110m Hurdles: Ben Reynolds (N Down).
400m Hurdles: Thomas Barr (Ferrybank), Jason Harvey (UUJ).
1500m: Paul Robinson (St Coca's).
10,000m: Mark Kenneally (Clonliffe), David Rooney (Raheny).
4x400m: David Gillick (DSD), Brian Gregan, B Murphy (Crusaders), Thomas Barr, Jason Harvey (UUJ), Tim Crowe (Dooneen).
Women's 100m: Amy Foster (North Down).
400m: Joanne Cuddihy (Kilkenny CH).
400m Hurdles: Jessie Barr (Ferrybank).
1500m: Ciara Mageean (UCD), Orla Drumm (UCC).
Steeplechase: Stephanie Reilly (Sli Chulainn).
10,000m: Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole).
Pole Vault: Tori Pena (Finn Valley).
4x400m: Joanne Cuddihy, C Bergin (DSD), Marian Heffernan (Togher), Michelle Carey (Dublin Striders), Catriona Cuddihy (KCH), Joanne Mills (B&A).
The selection process has not been without controversy as some athletes who appear to have reached the qualifying standard were not included. More details in this piece in the Irish Independent.