Athletics Ireland has announced a strong team of 16 to travel to Glasgow next month to compete in the European Indoor Championships.
The games will take place between Friday, March 1st and Sunday, March 3rd with Spar, swiss cheese producer Le Gruyere, Toyo Tires and Eurovision as the Championship partners.
It is expected that RTÉ TV will have coverage of the games through its involvement with Eurovision on a similar basis to last summer’s European Championship outdoor events which took place between Berlin and Glasgow.
Ireland is sending a larger team than for any recent Championships. Ten and twelve athletes respectively travelled to the renewals in 2017 and 2015.
We have a record of success at this level as well with David Gillick winning Gold in 2007 and 2009 and Derval O’Rourke taking bronze in 2009 and 2013, either side of coming fourth in 2011. Mark English brought home a silver medal in 2015.
This year’s team will be led by a strong quartet in Phil Healy, Ciara Mageean, Mark English, and Thomas Barr. There is also a strong blend of youth and championship debuts.
All four have shown good form in the past week at the AIT International Grand Prix and at the Irish Life Indoor National Championships at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus.
Phil Healy is ranked 4th in the women’s 400m with Mageean and English (1500m and 800m) both ranked 5th on the European Indoor lists.
There are senior debuts on the women’s side for Molly Scott, pictured above, and Lauren Roy in the 60m, Sophie Becker in the 400m and Sommer Lecky in the high jump.
It’s a good step up for the U20 athletes with three members of the women’s world 4x100m silver medal-winning team running in the 60m with Ciara Neville also an individual qualifier. Also stepping up is world U20 high jump silver medallist Sommer Lecky.
On the men’s side Cillin Greene in the 400m, Sean Tobin in the 3,000m, Joseph Ojewumi in the 60m, Conall Kirk in the 800m make track debuts.
“This is a strong Irish team that is primed to put in a performance at this championship,” said Athletics Ireland High Performance manager Paul McNamara. “Our more high profile athletes have had stellar seasons to date with Ciara, Phil, Mark, Siofra and Thomas very well placed on the European ranking lists.”
“This event will provide an excellent transitioning opportunity for our talented crop of 2018 U20s such as Molly, Ciara, Lauren and Sommer while emerging athletes like Joseph Ojewumi, Cillin Greene and Sophie Becker have shown exciting form this season to earn their spots. This will be a good championship for Irish athletics.”