JOANNE Cuddihy had two contrasting days of competition at the World Athletics Championships in Daegu.
On Saturday a flying Joanne produced a season’s best performance in South Korea when she finished third in her heat of the women’s 400m, a result which saw her automatically qualify for the semi-final. Joanne’s time of 51.82 seconds meant she was the 11th fastest qualifier for the semi-finals, but disaster struck 24 hours later.
Approaching the start of the third heat of Sunday’s 400m semi-finals, the Kilkenny City Harriers athlete cut a confident figure as she stepped into the starting blocks. However, moving just before the gun saw Cuddihy fall victim to the new one false start rule, as a red card from the track officials led to her disqualification from the event. She was in illustrious company, as world and Olympic champion Usain Bolt was later disqualified for a false start in the men’s 100m final.
Despite the disappointment Cuddihy was upbeat in the hours after the event. On her Twitter account she posted “I can’t say how lucky I feel to have such fantastic support from so many and I am sorry to have let everyone down tonight. Never again.”
Cuddihy will have her chance to gain redemption when she competes as part of the women’s 4x400m relay squad.
Brow Rangers duo Joe and Murty Kelly competed with distinction in Northern Ireland Masters Championships at the Mary Peters track in Belfast over the weekend.
Joe, competing in the M2 category, won gold in the shot-put and hammer. He was also the silver medal winner in the discus.
Murty, competing in the M6 category, won bronze medals in the shot-put, discus, hammer and javelin.
KCH runner Brian Maher was the winner of the Tinryland four mile Rockford Road race in a time of 19.01 minutes. Tommy Evans (Gowran) finished fourth in a time of 19.44 mins. Paul Deegan (Gowran) was the first man over-45 home in a time of 21.20, while Derek Deevey (Gowran) finished in 39th position in a time of 24.22.
Other Gowran runners in the 250-strong field were Anne Doyle (28.29), Marty Kelly (28.46), Ciara O’Farrell, Jimmy Lennon and Mick Hogan.
A number of Kilkenny athletes had an enjoyable and successful weekend in Athlone for the national finals of the Community Games.
Lauren Gleeson rounded off an excellent year with a gold medal in the under-12 100m. Lauren, from the St John’s Area, also competed in the under-13 4x100m mixed relay where she was joined by Jennifer O’Keeffe, Shane McGeary and Jack Manning. Having won their heat and finished third in the semi-final they came fifth in the final.
Other competitors from the St John’s area to reach the finals were Aisling McDonough and Shane McGeary in their respective long jumps and Jack Manning in shot-put.
Sarah Kate Lacey (Dicksboro Area) gave a commendable performance in the under-16 high jump. Clearing 1.45m, a new personal best, she finished sixth in the final. Luke Fitzpatrick, representing the Aghaviller Area, came seventh in the under-14 800m. Adam Fitzpatrick and Edward Dunne won gold as members of the Aghaviller under-13 hurling team.
Glenmore, Tullogher, Rosbercon (GTR) Area had two great performers. Paul Manning, competing at under-16 level, had a convincing win in the 100m final. Young athlete Cathal Beirne also had a great competition as he finished fourth in the under-8 80m final.
The National Half Marathon championship will be held in Waterford on Saturday.