Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Looking ahead to the European Championships...Wed 27th June - Sun 1st July 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Looking ahead to the European Championships...Wed 27th June - Sun 1st July 2012

Outside of the Olympics, the second most important competition this year is of course the European Track and Field Championships. This is starting on Wednesday, the 27th of June and runs until Sunday, the 1st of July.

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...
Fionnuala Britton (Kilcoole AC).........2011 European Cross Country Champion..."Britton has been in great form all year recording personal bests over the 5,000m and 10,000m distances. Britton’s time of 31.22.29 for the 10,000m back in May moved her to fourth on the Irish all time list. The time also ranks Britton in third place in Europe based on seasonal best performances. This is the first time that Britton will contest the 10,000m at a major championship having previously competed in the 3000m steeplechase."

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."

Ciara Mageean (U.C.D AC) and Orla Drumn (U.C.C AC)..."Both are both selected for the 1500m. Mageean the 2010 World junior silver medalist over 1500m will be making her senior Irish debut in Helsinki. Meanwhile Drumm has been in fantastic form all season setting a personal best of 4.09.05 in May to qualify for the championships. "

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.

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.


Anonymous said...

AAI selection process is a joke.There is a Facebook page set up in support of Brian Murphy who is from Cork and Rory Chesser from Ennis in order to let them compete in Helsinki.It is also trying to get answers as to why they were on official start lists but not named by AAI.Given these athletes are both from Munster and are hard working athletes who deserve to run we should show as much support as possible.Do nothing and nothing changes!

Anonymous said...

All the top athletes should just basically threaten to boycott the All-Ireland Championships unless Rory and Brian are included in the team. This would make AAI sit up as their sponsor "Woodies DIY" would have to take notice then.
This is just a case of a High Performance Manager coming into a country and not respecting the culture of athletics which he is in. This isn't New Zealand/Australia/Canada or America. In Ireland we respect when athletes have dedicated their lives to improve their performance to represent their countries. We don't have the large pool of talent of those countries to just throw aside athletes who would be an inspiration to the athletes at grassroots level in their own area.
I would agree with the earlier poster that there is a bit of a Dublin bias going on there. This was the same kind of mode of operation as the old BLE. If you are out of favour with those in power then you are not looked after. This is the only thing that can explain athletes with slower times being included in the team when athletes with A standards are overlooked.

Anonymous said...

As a member of athletics Ireland through my club, I'm sick of this bull, time after time from the AAI. They need to get there house in order. Brian take the offer of the flight step on the line and run with pride(I no wishful thinking on my part), forget these mummets in AAI

We the clubs must!!! come down hard on the top table

Anonymous said...

Fully in support of Brian and Rory, it is disgraceful that they are being overlooked. How are athletes expected to reach top performance levels if they are not granted the crucial opportunities to compete at top levels? Serious questions need to be asked about the capabilities of those in charge.

Anonymous said...

I wonder will the peoples republic of Cork ever be officially recognized so we don't have to put up with this sort of crap coming from Dublin!!!I'd say about the same chance as the AAI have of getting the house in order.Besides Rory and Brian Maria McCambridge ran a qualifying time in a mixed race but was told itwould be accepted until they changed their mind and she wasn't selected.She must be wondering what she did to deserve this after marathon selection.From her point of view what would motivate her to run when she is treated in this way.sad thing is that this sort of thong has been going on for years and will continue until patsy and the boys are removed and people who care about athletics in this country take over.

Anonymous said...

"Statement from Brian Murphy
Firstly I would like to thank everyone for their support of me and Rory over the last few days. The comments, messages and goodwill I have received has been truly humbling.

I haven't commented publicly on the matter thus far so that I would not prejudice the appeal process. This morning we were informed that our appeals were rejected unanimously.

I will leave others debate the inconsistencies and motivation of the selection committee I just want to state my view as an athlete.

My primary motivation in the sport is to wear the green singlet of Ireland. The singular source of pride I feel in wearing my national vest justifies any sacrifice I have made throughout the years.

I have operated outside the carding scheme all my athletics life. My support system has been my family and it is my greatest upset of this entire debacle that I will have several family members present in Helsinki for the heats of the 400m and I won't see them. My only relationship with the High Performance department is that they have actively prevented me from competing in a championship that I have the international entry standard for.

For the record I will only be present in Helsinki because of a relay qualification attempt that Brian Gregan, David McCarthy, Gordon Kennedy and myself organised amongst ourselves with the help of John Coghlan and David's father. Each of them made financial sacrifices when the AAI turned their back on us last season and I want to say thank you.

That Rory won't be there angers me and saddens me greatly. It is simply wrong.

I will finish with an extract from Athletics Ireland Vision and Strategy. I hope the powers that be, revisit this Vision in the context of the current situation.

“Sporting – We will ensure that everyone with athletic talent reaches their full potential by providing the appropriate pathways, funding and coaching. We will also provide the competitive opportunities and programmes to assist Irish athletes compete with distinction on the world stage.”

Once again, thank you. I truly appreciate your support."