Sarah Lavin equals personal best in 60 metres hurdles at National Indoors

Second on the day went to Molly Scott in a personal best of 8.31

There are few greater models of consistency in Irish athletics right now than Sarah Lavin, the Limerick sprinter equalling her lifetime best to win the 60 metres hurdles on day one of the National Indoor Championships at the Sport Ireland Arena at Abbotstown.

With the likes of Rhasidat Adeleke, Ciara Mageean, Andrew Coscoran, Mark English and Sarah Healy all skipping next month’s World Indoor Championships in Glasgow, turning their attention to Paris Olympic preparations, Lavin was one of the headline acts at Abbotstown.

She didn’t disappoint, securing her sixth indoor hurdles title in all with her winning time 7.91, equalling her personal best set last month, and continuing run of consistent performances this year as she targets a final place in Glasgow.

“I’d have loved to have seen a 7.90 or 7.89 today, but a 7.91 at home and to continue my consistent run heading into a World Championships is a good place to be,” she said


The 60m hurdles world record was broken again last night and the girls are bringing amazing performances this season, so I’ll have to be at my best heading to Glasgow”.

Only Derval O’Rourke’s national record of 7.84, set when winning the gold medal at the 2006 World Indoor Championships in Moscow, is faster.

Second on the day went to Molly Scott in a personal best of 8.31, as she continues her return from an injury-interrupted 18 months, while Dundrum South Dublin’s Kate Doherty took bronze in 8.35.

Phil Healy also continued her comeback from an illness-ruined 2023 to win another 200m title in 23.37, her 16th title in all between indoors and out.

“I felt like I didn’t get out as well in the final as the earlier heat, but it was faster on the clock so that’s a good sign in terms of how strong I felt,” Healy said.

“It’s been a very clean winter for me and things are back in a good place. It’s great to see so many young athletes coming through too and to have eight heats in today’s 200m is very encouraging for the event, and hopefully the following week it’ll be Worlds with the 4x400m relay, so a big few weeks ahead”.

The men’s 60m hurdles final also saw Adam Nolan continue his rapid rise as he claimed his first senior indoor title with 8.02, while defending men’s 200m champion Mark Smyth lost out to the blistering closing 20m from Robert McDonnell, his winning time of 21.05.

In the field, Daena Kealy topped a quality high field field with a best clearance of 1.82m, with David Cussen claiming another men’s high jump with his best of 2.10m

Sarah Buggy also claimed her eighth indoor triple jump title with a best leap of 12.67m, while Jai Benson held off a strong challenge to his triple jump crown to take gold with a best of 14.25.

Sunday’s finals will include Israel Olatunde (60m), endurance star Nick Griggs (1500m), Louise Shanahan (800m), and Irish under 23 long jump record holder Reece Ademola, still eyeing up that eight-metre mark.

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Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist writing on athletics