Irish athletics is on top of the world after another stunning weekend of weekend achievement.

Over the past five days, no fewer than five athletes have posted the fastest indoor times ever to have been run by Irish athletes.

Last night in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Sophie Cleirigh Buttner broke the Irish Indoor 800 metre record which itself had only been broken by Nadia Power last Wednesday. Cleirigh Buttner set a time of 2:00:53, five 100th’s of a second ahead of Power’s time.

Both athletes, alongside Georgie Hartigan and Louise Shanahan, are now inside the top 20 of the world rankings for the event, making Ireland the number one country in the discipline. No other country has that many athletes ranked so highly.

With the European Indoor Championships less than two weeks away, this is an exciting time for the sport.

The action in the US came off the back of a successful micro-meet held at the Sport Ireland Campus on Saturday and Sunday where personal best times were being set across all the events.

Israel Olatunde broke the Irish U20 and U23 records in his 60-metre sprint performance behind the experienced Leon Reid who ran a personal best and the second-fastest time in history by an Irish athlete.

Phil Healy posted the sixth-fastest time in Europe this season in the 400 metres.

On Saturday the first three home in the Men’s 1500 metres posted qualification standard times for the Euro’s. Mark English who won Bronze at the Championships in 2019 set a new Irish Record while runner-up Cian McPhillips broke his personal best by six seconds and his time is the second-fastest ever run in Europe at U20 level.

The event received Government approval via the Sport Ireland Expert Group and was a crucial stepping stone for athletes competing for European Indoor qualification, as well as Category E World Ranking points for those working towards Tokyo qualification.

The meeting was sponsored by Irish Life Health, the main commercial partner of Athletics Ireland.

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