Phil Healy Breaks 17-Year-Old Irish Record at AIT Grand Prix 2020
All eyes were on home crowd favourite Phil Healy (IRE) as she led the line in the Hodson Bay Group Women’s 200m. Healy ran a lightening time of 23:10 – the fastest run by a European athlete this season. In doing so, she broke an Irish record held for 17 years by Ciara Sheehy. Healy beat off stiff competition from national 200m champion Jessica Bianca-Wessoly (GER) who achieved a time of 23.71.
In a feat of incredible endurance, crowd pleaser and Irish Olympian in the making Ciara Mageean broke her own stadium record, which was set in 2014, and an impressive personal best with a time of 8:48:27. Mageean was pushed hard throughout the TG4 Women’s 3000m by Rosie Clarke (GBR), a sub 8.55 athlete in her own right, with Clarke achieving a time of 8:49:49. Britian’s Beth Kidger claimed third place with a time of 9:18:53.
Irish favourite Thomas Barr faced a tough race against three time World and European Indoor champion Pavel Maslak (CZE) and last year’s winner and Euro Indoor Championship bronze medallist Tony Van Diepen (NED). Maslak started strong until the last bend when Van Diepen came up from the outside to clinch first place with a time of 46:17. In his first outing of the season, Barr pushed hard on the last bend of the Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands Men’s 400m finishing third with a time of 46:44 – a personal best – which bodes well for his first race in an Olympic year.
Current 1500m World Indoor champion Samuel Tefera (ETH) opened his 2020 campaign with an attempt at the World Indoor Mile record (3:47.01). Despite falling short of the record, he still led the race taking home first in the AIT Men’s Mile with a time of 3:55:86. Up-and-coming Irish steeplechaser Brian Fay attempted to catch Tefera and gave an impressive performance, Fay, who held on to second place, set a personal best of 4:00:77. Hot on his heels, Brazil’s Thiago Andre ran a time of 4:01:55, ultimately taking third place.
Starting strong Britian’s Adelle Tracey (GBR) led the pack in the Roscommon County Council’s Women’s 800m, maintaining the lead early in the race. Tracey, who achieved a time of 2:01:71, had a comfortable lead over second place Liga Velvere (LAT) who ran of 2:02:52. British athletes Ellie Baker and Mari Smith – who came third and fourth respectively – ran a tight race until the last bend with Baker being a hundreth of a second faster.
Former European Indoor champion and current Euro Indoor bronze medallist Asha Philip (GBR) ran a fast race in the Westmeath County Council Women’s 60m, clocking up a time of 7:23. Philip held off the best of the Irish sprint talent, including Ciara Neville, who came second at 7:33, and Joan Healy who was 0:01 behind her.
Andy Robertson (GBR) took home first place in the Wild Atlantic Apartments Men’s 60m with a time of 6:62. British 100m champion Ojie Edoburun, who made his AIT Grand Prix debut this evening , ran 6:64. Third place went to Jan Veleba (CZH) who was 0:02 outside his personal best.
The Athletics Association of Ireland Men’s 600m saw a battle of 400m, 400mH and 800m athletes as they faced off over an unfamiliar distance. Former world champion over the hurdles Dai Greene (GBR) and former European 400m champion Martyn Rooney (GBR) challenged but it was Poland’s Mateusz Borkowski who won the Men’s 600 m – setting a personal best of 1:17:40 in the process. Ireland’s up-and-coming Zak Curran took second place with a time of 1:17:66. Guy Learmouth (GBR) claimed third place with a time of 1:17:77. European medallist and home crowd favourite Mark English, for whom the 800m is a more familiar event, ran a time of 1:18:49 in a physical race.
Sponsored by Limerick Institute of Technology, the Men’s Pole Vault was one of the most entertaining events of the evening much to enjoyment of the home and international crowd. Norway’s Pal Haugen Lillefosse vaulted a height of 5:60m, earning him first place. Adam Hague (GBR) returning to the AIT International Arena, vaulted a height of 5:45m coming joint second with Spain’s Adrian Valles.
David Smith (GBR) won a competitive Midlands Print Men’s High Jump with height of 2.23m. Douwe Amels (NED), Carlos Rojas (SPN) and Thomas Carmoy (BEL) all jumped 2:20m but ranked second, third and fourth respectively based on count back.
The all-Irish AIT Sport Women’s Long Jump was won by Eliabeth Morland with a distance of 5.70m. Close in second was Adeyemi Talabi with a jump of 5.67. Jennifer Hanrahan took home third place with a distance of 5.51m.