The Mighty Quinn leads day 1

Jamie Davis  reports for Jumping The Gun on day one of the European U23 Track and  Field Championships in Tampere, Finland where the Irish got off to a good start with Shane Quinn finishing fourth in the 10,000m.

Also don’t forget to listen to Thomas Chamney’s  excellent interview with Derval O’Rourke which is embedded below.  


The Mighty Quinn 

It was all systems go for team Ireland on day one of the
European U23 championships with Shane Quinn narrowly outside a medal in the 10,000m finishing fourth.

A fifteen strong outfit have
made the trip to Tampere, Finland to compete, putting business over
leisure as they plied themselves away from the rare Irish summer to mix
it with the best of European athletics talent. Eight of team Ireland
were in action yesterday, in what turned out to be a day of competition that
would leave any Irish track and field fan on a high, craving for more

Conor McCullogh opened the proceedings for the
Irish in the morning session in the Men’s Hammer. The Crusaders man  did
not disappoint as he registered three for three, with a best throw of
69.40 meters, qualifying in third position in Group A, and lying sixth
overall going into Saturday’s final. The former world junior champion
has a personal best of 75.09m, and any throw within such a mark could
earn a place on the podium for the twenty two year old. 

McManus was Ireland’s first competitor on the track when she competed in
the Women’s 100 meters. In a performance that exceeded expectations, the
Dublin City Harrier won her heat in 11.74 seconds, equalling her
personal best, qualifying for the semi-finals. Catherine later finished
seventh in her semi final, running 11.98 into a strong headwind thus
failing to progress into tomorrow’s final. 

It was up to
the long hurdlers to keep the good times rolling in Tampere and they did
not disappoint. Both Jason Harvey, Crusaders AC, and Thomas Barr,
Ferrybank AC, comfortably navigated their way into Friday’s semi-finals.
Harvey was up first, finishing second in his heat with 50.65, behind
Emir Bekric the Serbian national record holder.

Barr followed shortly
after and one-upped his roommate by winning his heat in what looked a
handy 50.11 from lane one. When speaking to Jumping The Gun, Barr
commented “I was nervous with being drawn in lane one as the track is
tight on the bends, though I was able to keep an eye on the lads outside
me. Once I got going I felt relaxed and felt good overall. I’m looking
forward to tomorrow, there’s more in the tank.”

Speaking of their
relationship, Jason Harvey put any rumours of animosity between the two
men to bed and commented on the bright future ahead for the event in
Ireland. “It’s great having Thomas in the mixer with me. We both have a
bit of banter with each other as we have roomed before and again on this
trip. In regards to racing it is brilliant. Ireland hasn’t had the
depth in the 400 hurdles over the years and to have both of us knocking
on the door of 50 seconds, it really spurs me on. If we could get
through to the finals and be challenging for medals it could not only
help our confidence, but help Irish hurdling for the future.” 

the afternoon session Mark English of UCD AC was first on track.
However things did not go to plan for the young half miler. In the third
and final heat of the men’s 800 meters, English finished in an
agonising third position, one place shy of the automatic qualifying
spots for tomorrow’s medal decider. His time of 1:49.65 was not good
enough for a fastest loser spot and the Donegal man was eliminated.
English has been battling illness over the last several weeks, something
which has forced him to race sparingly since opening up his season with
a 1:46 clocking in Oordegem, Belgium.

Shane Quinn was in the only final of the day for Ireland and he applied himself to the 25 laps much like he did in the 3,000m at  the European Team Championships. Quinn, who was a prodigious schoolboy, is starting to mature into a fine athlee and his fourth place finish in a new personal best of 29:49.43 will give him a big boost for the coming NCAA season with Providence College. The big man from Waterford could play a key role at the European Cross Country Championships. For now he can relax  in Finland and reflect on a job well done.

It was up to the
one lap specialists, Dara Kervick and Richard Morrissey to round off on
what was a good day for the green army in Tampere. Kervick was up first
in heat one, placing fifth in 47.44 which unfortunately was not good
enough to progress out of the heats. However the light did not go out
for our 400 meter participants, as Morrissey produced a stunning
personal best of 46.57 to finish third in his heat and book his place in
Saturday’s final. 


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Feidhlim Kelly

Feidhlim Kelly

Con Houlihan once told me that tomorrow is now. In taking on this venture I’ve started to try and put his words into action.

I worked for Con from 2007 till his passing in 2012 taking down his copy and a whole lot more. I have a Con Houlihan section which will go in to more depth on that.

I’m a long-time contributor to the Irish Runner magazine and am also working for the Irish Examiner.

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