Thomas Barr and Sarah Healy build more Tokyo momentum

Irish duo both impress in Gothenburg as their Olympic bids gather pace

Sarah Healy impressed in the 1500m in Gothenburg. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

Sarah Healy impressed in the 1500m in Gothenburg. Photograph: Bryan Keane/Inpho

 

Two standout wins for Thomas Barr and Sarah Healy at the Folksam Grand Prix meeting in Gothenburg has added further momentum to their Tokyo Olympics aspirations.

Barr first took a convincing win in the 400 metres hurdles in 49.02 seconds, improving the season best he clocked in Doha last Friday, over a second clear of second - and with that moving the Waterford athlete from outside the top 50 to number 16 on times so far sun this season.

Not long after that Healy took the win in the women’s 1,500m, where she knocked almost two seconds off her previous best when clocking 4:07.78, improving on the 4:09.25 she ran as teenager in 2018. For Healy, who turns 23 later this month, this also moves her to number seven on the Irish all-time list, and closer still to the Tokyo automatic qualifying time of 4:04.20.

In the meantime the time also moves her to just inside the 45 qualifying quota, the Dublin runner getting the better of Britain’s Revee Walcott-Nolan, who took second in 4:08.28.

At the same meeting Phil Healy finished fourth in the 200m, clocking 23.65 behind Britain’s Ama Pipi, who won in 23.40.

At the World Athletics Continental Tour meeting in Samorin, Slovakia, Ciara Neville also made another move within the qualifying quota in the 100m after she took second in a season best of 11.47. Already inside the qualifying quota for the 800m, Nadia Power also clocked 2:02.58 to finish fourth in the 800m.

Also in Samorin, Sarah Lavin broke her long-standing outdoor best in the 100m hurdles, clocking 13.19 in fourth, while Chris O’Donnell, Tokyo-bound as part of the 4x400m mixed relay, ran a season best of 46.16 in the 400m to finish second out of lane one.

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