Sarah Healy of Blackrock AC in Dublin ensured a full set of medals for the Irish team at the European Youth Olympic Festival when she won the girls’ 1500m race today.
In Thursday’s semi-finals, Healy had laid down a marker, winning her semi-final easily in 4:40.52. In the final, she tucked in behind early leader Zita Urban of Hungary for the first 400m, and then endured some bumping and barging before taking over in front. At the bell, she still had Anna Baumgartner of Austria on her shoulder but with 300 m to go, found an extra gear, leaving the chasers flat footed and finishing in a personal best time of 4:19.85. Coming second in 4:23.17 was Klaudia Kazimierska of Poland, who slipped past Baumgartner with the line in sight. Ciara Mageean holds the championships record of 4:15.46, set in 2009.
For the 4x100m girls, there was another bronze medal for Ireland, with the team finishing a fighting third behind Belgium and the Netherlands, and less than half a second separating the three.
In the boys’ 800m, Louis O’Loughlin of Donore Harriers could not repeat his run of a day earlier in the semi-finals when he had won his heat in a personal best 1:54.96. In a race where Dutch athlete Djoao Lobles set a new championships record of 1:50.72 for victory, O’Loughlin finished a brave seventh place in 1:56.98.
It means that the Irish team returns from Gyor with five medals – gold for Healy, silver for Rhasidat Adeleke of Tallaght AC 200m, and bronze for Patience Jumbo Gula of St Gerard’s Dundalk 100m; Jade Williams of Shercock AC hammer, and the relay quartet of Adeleke, Jumbo Gula, Miriam Daly and Niamh Foley.
In an excellent games all round for the young