2018 Track & Field International

Kilkenny Athletics goes International – well at least 4 of their athletes did. Every aspiring athlete loves to achieve international status. There is something about donning that green vest that makes you feel you have achieved at your event.
This month, we had our athletes who were called up to International duty. Firstly the Celtic Games.

The Celtic Games were held in Grangemouth, Scotland on Aug 5th. A pre-requisite for selection was competing in the Juvenile National Championships in Tullamore. While the original Celtic Games inaugurated in 1976 in Aberdeen Scotland was for girls only (imagine an all female International competition in the 1970s – seriously liberation was way ahead of itself in Sport!!!) in the 2000s the competition was opened up to include boys as well. Back in the day of the liberated 1970s the ages were 13,15 and 17. Today the age group for selection are u/16 and u/18.
Two Kilkenny athletes who were victorious in their respective u/18 events were Rory MacGabhann (KCH) in the High Jump and Shay McEvoy (KCH) in the 3,000m.
Both athletes were victorious at the Celtics – gaining maximum points for the Irish Team. The Irish team incidentally finished 2nd in Scotland in the overall competition.
Rory gained victory on count back over his Scottish rival Ryan Woods, both athletes cleared 1.91cm, with Rory clearing most heights on the first attempt. The 6 foot 10 inch High Jumper has improved his PB by 10cm this season – a huge margin.
Shay contested a very close 3,000m race, with all the athletes still being grouped together at the bell. What a blistering last lap. At 150m Shay and Welsh Champion Larry Ryan were marginally ahead, with both boys neck and neck to the line. Shay was victorious by a meagre 3/10ths of a second. What a race. 

The week gone by saw most of the athletics fraternity looking at the European Championships in Berlin. Sadly Clidhna Manning had to sit the championships out, despite achieving the qualifying time in the 400m. All of us in Kilkenny Athletics wish her well in her recovery. 400m seems to be the in-event in Kilkenny at the moment, with both Sophie Becker (St Josephs) and Ciara Deely (KCH) both being selected for the relay. The relay team managed a seasons best, finishing 14th overall. Sophie Becker ran the second leg. It is a fantastic achievement for these two girls to gain selection – both competing in their first ever senior event. Sophie was selected on the strength of her recent 2nd place in the National 400m and Ciara on her 6th place. This was a very euphoric and motivating occasion as the girls were also present to witness Thomas Barr finish 3rd in the 400m hurdles – Ireland’s first ever Male sprint medal.

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