In frosty Moscow, Ireland’s finest indoor athletes are competing today against the best in the world. We have fielded a good team, but we will be doing very well to come home with a medal out of this championship.
Despite losing out on his lottery funding, Tullamore man James Nolan seems to have really knuckled down since the Olympics (maybe Jerry Keirnan’s criticism was a motivator). He will be one to watch, posting superb times this year including a 3K of 7:52 and a 1k of 2:21. He definitely is in with a good chance of making the final, but will be up against it for medals.
Another athlete to watch out for is Alastair Cragg (above). Ireland’s european gold medal winner is in poor form by his standards, but he has still run the fastest mile this year. However Alastair will be in incredible company in the 3K – with several world record holders on display, not least of all the Bekele brothers. It promises to be a sensational final.
Alastair narrowly made it to the final – finishing 4th after recovering from a trip and running home in 7:53. To put it in perspective – I ran about 9:30 in Nenagh in the Galway’s, and Gary Thornton ran about 8:22 in Belfast a few weeks ago – you can expect the final to be won in the 7:30’s! These lads are just nuts!
Emily Maher and Ailis McSweeney came fourth and fifth in their 60m heats with times of 7.38secs and 7.44secs, moved into the evening’s semi-finals. Those are great times but I can’t see them making the final… we’ll see – hopefully I’m wrong!
We will have lots of other athletes worth watching – including Derval O’Rourke in the hurdles, David Gillick European 400M Champion, Maria McCambridge, etc. It’s live on Eurosport, and you should see some highlights on RTE2 tomorrow.
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