Nadia Power breaks Irish indoor 800m record in Vienna

The 23-year-old finished second behind British star Kelly Hodgkinson

File photo of Nadia Power who broke the Irish 800m record on Saturday. Photo: Igor Kralj/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images

File photo of Nadia Power who broke the Irish 800m record on Saturday. Photo: Igor Kralj/Pixsell/MB Media/Getty Images

 

Nadia Power has opened her indoor season in record-breaking style by lowering the Irish senior 800 metres mark with a second place finish in the Vienna International meeting on Saturday.

The 23-year-old Power also took over three seconds off her lifetime best to clock 2:02:44, which eclipsed the previous record of 2:02.46, which had stood to Siofra Cleirigh Buttner since 2018, set during her time at Villanova in the US.

For Power, who last summer improved on the Irish under-23 record at the same distance, it marks another considerable improvement. Victory on the night went to the rising British star Kelly Hodgkinson, who ran a world under-20 800m record of 1:59.03, with Power placing second ahead Italy’s Irene Baldessari in third, who also clocked a fast time of 2:02.71.

It also lays down a marker for the European Indoor Championships, still set to take place in Poland from March 5th-7th. Last year, the Dublin City Harriers AC athlete delivered an impressive win at the World Athletics Continental Tour meeting in Zagreb, running 2:02.08, and a week prior to that she set that Irish under-23 800m record, running 2:01.01 in Rovereto, Italy when finishing third in another top class-international field.

While most of the major indoors meetings are still set to go ahead, Power’s run comes against the backdrop of the news earlier on Saturday that Athletics Ireland has confirmed the cancellation of their National Indoor Championships, which were scheduled to take place at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena on February 20th and 21st

The decision was taken in light of the ongoing Level 5 Covid-19 restrictions which have been extended until the March 5th and according to Athletics Ireland: “Whilst a small cohort of our elite athletes have been granted a Government exemption to continue to train at Level 5, Athletics Ireland must ensure the safety of all athletes, coaches, officials, volunteers, and staff takes priority at any of our hosted events.”

Without a National Championships, many potential qualifiers for the European Championships may now need to race abroad, although Athletics Ireland are looking at ways of staging some competition at home.

“We are examining alternative options which would allow for a Covid-19 compliant event for European Indoor qualification purposes and for the attainment of World Ranking points towards Tokyo qualification.

“Entry will be restricted to athletes tracking towards Olympic Games qualification and European Indoor Championships qualification, details of which will be published as soon as all details are confirmed and agreed with Government. Selection Policy for European Indoor Championships will be updated to reflect the changing circumstances.”

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