Girls help Ireland grab Celtic gold

FOUR rising stars from Kilkenny helped the Athletics Ireland girls’ under-18 team to strike gold at The Celtic Games International in Antrim on Saturday.

FOUR rising stars from Kilkenny helped the Athletics Ireland girls’ under-18 team to strike gold at The Celtic Games International in Antrim on Saturday.

The victory over teams from Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland was achieved with a powerful contribution from the Kilkenny girls. Three of them - Cliodhna Manning, Lorraine O’Shea and Sarah Buggy - won individual gold medals while another - Sophie Parkinson - took silver.

Manning and O’Shea, members of the Kilkenny City Harriers (KCH) club, were involved in individual and relay events. Having scored a first place finish in the 300m (39.70) event Manning ran in both the 4x100m relay team which finished second place and the 4x300m relay team, which came third.

O’Shea also had an excellent competition. Clearing 5.69 metres she won the long jump event and set a new personal best performance. O’Shea also ran a leg of the 4x100m relay team that finished second.

Castlecomer native Sarah Buggy, a member of the St Abban’s club, won gold in the triple jump with an impressive 11.71m finish. Gowran’s Sophie Parkinson also played her part in the triumph in Belfast, finishing in the silver medal position in the girls’ discus.

The boys’ under-18 team did not make it to the podium despite the best efforts of the two Kilkenny lads on the team. Eoin Power (St Joseph’s) was third in both the 110m and 400m hurdles while Jonathan Fitzpatrick (KCH) was second in the 2,000m steeplechase.

World Championships

Joanne Cuddihy has been selected on the Irish team to compete at the World Athletics Championships.

The Harriers athlete will run in the 400m and the 4x400m relay at the championships, which will be held in South Korea from August 27 to September 4.

Cuddihy will be hoping to improve on her performance at the 2007 Championships in Osaka Japan, where she set a new national 400m outdoor record of 50.73 seconds when finishing fourth in her semi-final. She earned her place on the team by winning the women’s national 400m title in Santry, crossing the line in a season’s best time of 52.15 seconds.

Fixtures

Friday: St Abban’s Road Race, Monavea 7.30pm. For race entries contact Pat Kelly, tel 059-9143357.

Sunday: Woodie’s AAI National Masters Championship, Tullamore.

Saturday, August 27: Tinryland four mile road race - contact Denis Shannon, tel 086-8926218; Oylegate Wexford Half Marathon – see www.oylegate.com.