Three Ennis Track girls, Ava Rochford, Aisling Maloney and Avril Lillis, competed in the shot put on Saturday, with Ava winning the gold by a huge margin. On Sunday, Ava was the star performer in the high jump, winning gold and beating a 5-year-old Munster record with a wonderful jump of 1.50 m. There were also some fine performances from her teammates Ruth Leyden and Neasa Ní Lachtnain. Ava then made the final eight in the long jump and, though just missing out on the medal places, her 4th place finish qualifies her for the All-Irelands.
William Bello had a fantastic start to his day, picking up a silver medal in the 60-m hurdles with a time of 10.34s. In the long jump, William just missed out on All-Ireland qualification, finishing in 5th place. Samuel Olaoye had a great finish to his day with a bronze medal on the shot put and a new pb of 9.59m. There was a large entry for the U13 boys 60-m dash and both Samuel Olaoye and Willam Bello both had great runs to secure qualification for the semifinal, but disaster struck for William as he fell heavily on the line. The medics on site looked after him well and arranged an ambulance to nearby Nenagh Hospital where a broken collarbone was confirmed. We wish him well for a speedy recovery!
It was no surprise to see Neasa Ní Ainifein feature in the medals in her 800m race, as she comfortably claimed the bronze in a time of 2:31.51.
No stranger to the winner’s podium, Ailbhe Doherty was in fine form for her 800m run. In a thrillingly tight contest, she and Aimee Hayde (Newport) were neck and neck, with Ailbhe just edging it by one-hundredth of a second to claim the gold in a new Munster record time of 2:17.43. In the 60-m dash, also a closely contested race, Ailbhe Doherty easily qualified for the semi-final with a threeway joint-fastest time of 8.18s. She made sure of her place in the final, winning her semifinal in 8.19s, but she certainly saved her best till last, blasting out an 8.08s run in her final and giving herself a clear winning margin to win another gold medal.
Both Sonia Ogbuagu and Chisom Ogwuera of Ennis Track qualified for the final of the 60-m dash but, though denied a medal, Sonia secured a place in the All-Irelands by virtue of her 4th place finish. It is worth noting that this was a very fast final – seeing a 7-year Munster record smashed by Kikolka Stevankova of Dooneen. Chisom had a busy weekend indeed, producing a great performance to win the silver medal in the 60-m hurdles and winning a silver in the long jump with a jump of 4.83m.
Shanice Benson won bronze in the shot put, throwing the 3-kilo weight a distance of 9.16m.
Ben Deasy ran a fantastic 800m race, coming second in his heat and claiming the bronze with his time of 2:07.87. Not long after, he took to the track again and went one better in the 1500m, winning silver in a time of 4:30.77. The day ended in disappointment for Gabriel Kehinde as a false start him saw him disqualified from the 60-m dash, a race he would have been hotly tipped to win.
Jo Keane won silver in the two-lap 400m run and then hit the track again for the four-lap 800m to claim her second silver of the championships – a great day’s work!
Patrick O’Rourke and Bakhit Khamis Barr showed real class in their 800m and 1500m runs. In the 800m, it was silver and bronze for Patrick and Bakhit with times of 2:06.85 and 2:10.11, respectively, while in the 1500m, Patrick took the gold with a finishing time of 4:26.61 and Bakhit picked up another bronze with a time of 4:37.52.
Congratulations to all athletes that took part and to their parents and coaches for all the hard work.
Below is a selection of photos from the Munster Indoor Championships held this weekend (25th & 26th February) in Nenagh Olympics indoor stadium.