Ireland name 42-strong squad for European Athletics Championships
Sprinter Leon Reid named on standby but hopeful of competing in Berlin next month
Ciara Mageean has been named in the Ireland squad for next month’s European Athletics Championships. Photograph: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
A 42-strong Irish team has been announced for the 24th European Athletics Championships, which begin in Berlin’s Olympiastadion on Tuesday week, August 7th.
Among them are two previous medal winners at these championships: Ciara Mageean won bronze over 1,500m in Amsterdam two years ago, in a marginally condensed programme to coincide with Olympic year, and Mark English also won bronze over 800m in Zurich in 2014, under the full programme of events.
Also selected on a provisional basis is Bath-born sprinter Leon Reid, who won a sprint double at the National track and field championships in Santry at the weekend: having represented Great Britain at junior and under-23 level, Reid has been requesting a transfer to Ireland for the last two years, only for the IAAF, the governing body of world transfers, to put on freeze on all such transfers last year.
For Reid, whose birth mother is from Belfast, this stalled his application; that freeze was lifted last Friday, pending certain conditions, and Reid is confident he’ll be running in green in Berlin.
Evenly split, 21 men and 21 women, there are 29 individual athletes, plus three relay teams - the women’s 4x100m, and the men’s and women’s 4x400m. The marathon and race walks only take place in the four-year cycle, and 12 Irish athletes have been named across those events, including five in the men’s marathon, and four in the women’s event.
Most of those selected signed off for Berlin with winning performances in Santry over the weekend. Mageean won a first national 800m-1,500m double since Sonia O’Sullivan in 2000; she ran a season best of 2:02.13 for 800m at the Morton Games last week, and likewise 4:04.13 over 1,500m in Barcelona the week before, and will focus on the 1,500m in Berlin.
Thomas Barr, ranked fourth in Europe over the 400m hurdles, won an eighth national title and delivered a new championship record to boot, clocking 49.56 seconds to improve his own 49.68 set in 2015.
Gina Apke-Moses won her first senior 100m title in a photo-finish 11.86, and is selected in the sprint relay, having already helped the Irish junior women to world silver in Finland earlier this month.
English won a fifth consecutive 800m title, and it was clearly important: he’d dropped out of the Morton Games and had only run one other race this season, but looked more like the old English, neatly timing his finish to win in 1:50.82. Phil Healy had qualified over three distances (100m, 200m and 400m), but will aim for a 100m-200m only in Berlin - winning the 200m title on Saturday in 23.64.
Irish team, European Athletics Championships, Berlin, August 7th-12th
Women: Phil Healy (Bandon AC) 100m & 200m, Gina Akpe-Moses (Blackrock AC-Louth) 100m, Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (DSD AC) 800m, Claire Mooney (UCD AC) 800m, Ciara Mageean (UCD AC) 1500m, Emma Mitchell (Queens University AC) 10,000m, Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle & District AC) 3000m steeplechase, Michelle Finn (Leevale AC) 3000m steeplechase, Breege Connolly (North Belfast Harriers AC) marathon, Gladys Ganiel (North Belfast Harriers AC) marathon, Laura Graham (Mourne Runners AC) marathon, Lizzie Lee (Leevale AC) marathon.
4x100m relay panel: Phil Healy (Bandon AC), Gina Akpe-Moses (Blackrock-Louth), Ciara Neville (Emerald AC), Joan Healy (Bandon AC), Niamh Whelan (Ferrybank AC), Molly Scott (SLOT AC).
4x400m relay: Davicia Patterson (Beechmount Harriers AC), Claire Mooney (UCD AC), Sophie Becker (St. Joseph’s AC), Sinead Denny (DSD AC), Ciara Deely (KCH AC), Catherine McManus (DCH AC).
Men: Marcus Lawler (SLOT AC) 200m, Chris O’Donnell (North Sligo AC) 400m, Zak Curran (DSD AC) 800m, Mark English (UCD AC) 800m, Stephen Scullion (North Belfast AC) 10,000m, Ben Reynolds (North Down AC) 110m hurdles, Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) 400m hurdles, Adam McMullen (Crusaders AC) long Jump, Cian McManamon (Westport AC) 20km Walk, Alex Wright (Leevale AC) 20km Walk, Brendan Boyce (Finn Valley AC) 50km Walk, Sergiu Ciobanu (Clonliffe Harriers AC) marathon, Mick Clohisey (Raheny Shamrock AC) marathon, Sean Hehir (Rathfarnham WSAF AC) marathon, Paul Pollock (Annadale Striders AC) marathon, Kevin Seaward (St Malachy’s AC) marathon.
4x400m relay: Chris O’Donnell (North Sligo AC), Brandon Arrey (Raheny Shamrock AC), Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC), Craig Newell (Ballymena & Antrim AC), Andrew Mellon (Crusaders AC), Dara Kervick (DSD AC).