We never want to go back to as long a hiatus as Covid-19 imposed upon us but in terms of the impact on Irish athletes emerging stronger, it has had some positives.
Cycling is the latest to see a spike in performance with two national records falling at the Sundrive Velodrome in Dublin this weekend.
The Cycling Ireland Track National Championships were the occasion and with no spectators allowed the action was relayed by live streams of all the action.
Kelly Murphy, a Pursuit specialist, battled less than ideal conditions of day 1 of the championship to set a new outdoor Irish Record of 3:48.99 in the Women’s 3k Pursuit during qualification. In the gold medal ride, she went event better lowering the record to 3:47.452.
Mia Griffin, Michael O’Loughlin and Harvey Barnes became national champions before the second national record fell on Sunday with Orla Walsh powering around the track to set a new Irish Record of 36.22 in the Women’s 500m TT, taking over a second off the previous mark. This was Walsh’s second title of the weekend after taking the Sprint title as well.
Deirbhle Ivory finished in the silver medal position with an excellent time of 38.61 and Nikki Taggert 3rd in 38.71.
Eoin Mullen from the Aran Islands and Mark Downey also claimed titles before World Championship Bronze medallist Lara Gillespie added Gold in the Women’s scratch race.
While the start of the Tour de France claimed most of the attention in cycling, it is important to recognise the talent growing in the amateur sport, as was the case right here.
Success at an international level and the possibility of Olympic representation will strengthen the clamour for the eventual completion of a national indoor velodrome as part of the Sport Ireland Campus.