O'Rourke's Olympics in doubt; Smyth misses out
17:49, 08 Jul 2012
Jason Smyth's attempts to become the first individual athlete to compete in the Olympic and Paralympic games came to an end in Santry Stadium today, but it was the extent of a possible injury to Derval O'Rourke that occupied Team Ireland's minds.
Smyth fell victim to Paul Hession's fast finishing in the 100 metres at the Woodies DIY National Track and Field Championships, who took the title in 10.37, outside the Olympic standard.
Earlier in the day O'Rourke withdrew from the 100m hurdles with an unexplained injury, ending hopes of her 10th national title.
It is believed O'Rourke suffered a back and hamstring injury during her warmup and sought immediate treatment.
The extent of her injury is not known but the Cork athlete's fitness will obviously be of major concern for Team Ireland ahead of the Olympic Games.
Colin Griffin got the morning sessions under way and showed his Olympic pedigree as an easy winner of the men's 10,000m walk in 41.46 - however that is well outside Robert Heffernan's national record of 38.27.57.
"I didn't look for a time today, It was just a race I needed," Griffin said afterwards.
"I'll return to Spain for more training tomorrow.
"It wasn't the right time to empty the tank."
Joanne Cuddihy was a convincing winner of the 400m ladies race, which included four members of the 4 x 400 Meters relay team.
Joanne Cuddihy took control of the race from the gun and stretched her lead on Marian Heffernan down the back straight. Joanne Cuddihy eased down the home straight to finish in a time of 51.89, Heffernan took silver in 53.35 while Michelle Carey took bronze in 53.50. Sinead Denny was the next relay team member home in 4th posting a time of 54.19.
Caitriona Cuddihy was removed from the Olympic relay team yesterday and replaced by Joanna Mills, took 5th place in 55.27.
Meanwhile Thomas Barr reclaimed his 400m hurdles title with solid front running that brought him home in a time of 50.87. Barr held off European Championships teammate Jason Harvey who clocked 51.43 to take silver.
Siobhan Eviston joined an elite band of athletes as she reclaimed her 800m title. Shaking off the stigma of her 2011 victory over Ciara Megan, which was judged by some as a fluke victory, Eviston repeated her success with similar race tactics and a slow first lap which saw her in third place at the bell. As Laura Crowe made a move for home on the bend it was Eviston who changed pace on the last bend and came home in 2.06.52.
"We went out nice and slow, once we got the bell I just kept the head and worked down the back straight, I knew my finish would come good," a delighted Eviston said after the race.
Jessie Barr's hopes of making an Olympic trip to London were dashed earlier in the day. The European Championships finalist posted a best of 55.57.29, outside the Olympic standard of 55.50.
Clonliffe Harriers athlete Dave Flynn showed a good transfer of form from his successful American collegiate season as he claimed his first national title in the steeplechase.
Flynn took the lead mid-race and his battle with Ciaran Donaghy of Letterkenny saw a turn of the pace in last two laps which brought Flynn home in 9.06.52.
The Men's 800 was an rough tactical battle with Dean Cronin the fastest in the home straight coming home in 1.52.48. As a blanket of athletes covered four lanes of the Santry track, the slow championship race was a tactical battle seeing 18-year-old Cronin taking gold three-hundredths of a second clear of Brian Kelly, with William Ryan a further hundredth of a second back taking bronze.
An intriguing 5,000m played out which saw a battle between Dave Rooney, Dan Mulhare and Mark Hanarahan. Those three worked with their way around the Santry track until the bell, where Rooney made an early move for home. The European championships 10,000m competitor showed heavy legs as Hanarahan fought back into the race and his injection of pace saw him come home from the fast-finishing Mulhare to take gold in 14.13.80
Mairead Murphy of Ferrybank took advantage of O'Rourke's absence from the 100m hurdles as she was a clear winner in 14.47.
Brian Murphy, who was recently involved in a controversial selection decision for the European Championships, took the men's 400m title after an impressive display on the back straight. Murphy held off the 2003 World Indoor bronze medallist Paul McKee who has made a stunning return at this level, 10 years after claiming his first Irish championship. Murphy crossed the line in two strides clear of McKee.
Deirdre Ryan continued her road to London taking the high jump with a final jump of 1.80 metres.
Changing her jumping style to a short run-up, Ryan's jumped to 1.80 before deciding to call it a day after jumping a season's best of 1.90 in Germany on Friday night
"I was very happy my jump on Friday night, my season is coming along nicely and just at the right time," Ryan said.
"I had to change my run up due to the weather. When I got to 1.80, I decided not to push it anymore as I have a meet in Lausanne to come".
Orla Drumm put a disappointing European Championships behind her to win the 1500m with an impressive last lap. Colin Costello took his first national title with a photo-finish victory in the 1500m.
Costello, winner of the European junior 1500m in 2005, fell across the line in a tussle with Darren McBrearty and Joe Warne. The photo -finish was called to separate the three with Costello being given the judges' verdict, with 36 hundredths of a second separating the three athletes.
The 4 x 400 meter relays made a successful debut at the National Championships with Crusaders 4 x 400 meter relay team breaking the 10-year National Club record of Dublin City Harriers, completing the event in 3.10.59. The Women's title went to Dundrum South Dublin who claimed their second relay title of the championships.
Day 2 Champions:
Men's 10,000m Walk - Colin Griffin - Ballinamore - 41.47.66
400m Hurdles - Thomas Barr - Ferrybank - 50.87
Steeplechase - Dave Flynn - Clonliffe Harriers - 9.06.52
800m - Dean Cronin - Blarney\Inniscara - 1.52.48
100m - Paul Hession - Athenry - 10.37
5,000m - Mark Hanarahan - Leevale - 14.13.80
110m Hurdles - Simon Targgart - 14.27
400ms - Brian Murphy - Crusaders - 46.97
1500m - Colin Costello - Star of the Sea - 3.54.57
4 x 400 Relay - Crusaders - 3.10.59
Pole Vault - David Donegan - Clonliffe Harriers - 4.70 Meters
Hammer - Connor McCullough - Crusaders - 72.51 Meters
Long Jump - Adam McMullen - Unattached - 7.47 Meters
Discus - Thomas Rauktys - Clonliffe Harriers - 53.40 Meters
Javelin - Matthew Martin - North Down - 61.37 Meters
400 Hurdles - Jessie Barr - Ferrybank - 55.57.33
800m - Siobhan Eviston - Raheny Shamrock - 2:06:
100m Hurdles - Maireaid Murphy - Ferrybank - 14.47
400m - Joanne Cuddihy - Kilkenny City Harriers - 51.89
100m - Amy Foster - City of Lisburn - 51.89
4 x 400 Relay - Dundrum South Dublin - 3.45.75
Shot Putt - Claire Fitzgearld - Tralee Harriers - 14.30 Meters
High Jump - Deirdre Ryan - Dundrum South Dublin - 1.80 Meters
Triple Jump - Mary McLoone - Tir Chonail - 12.69 Meters
Athlete of the Championship - Joanne Cuddihy - Kilkenny City Harriers