Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Irish mixed relay team secure brilliant bronze

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The Irish mixed 4x400m relay team set a new national record to finish third at the World Athletics Relays in Nassau, the Bahamas.

The side, like the women’s 4x400m team, had sealed Olympic qualification with a stunning heat run early on Sunday morning, and backed it up with another brilliant display as Ireland clocked a time of 3:11.53 to finish in the bronze position behind the USA (3:10.73) and the Netherlands (3:11.45).

Once again, Rhasidat Adeleke added to her burgeoning reputation with an eye-catching 48.45 with Cillín Greene (46.92), Thomas Barr (46.04) and Sharlene Mawdsley (50.12) also playing their part in another notable night for Irish relay racing.

For so long it looked like it could have been silver, but Mawdsley’s great final leg battle with Femke Bol saw the latter move ahead coming around the final bend.

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The women’s 4x400m team were always unlikely to re-enact their heroics from the night before with Adeleke and Mawdsley not running in the final as they finished seventh.

Sophie Becker and Phil Healy were again in action, joined by Róisín Harrison and Lauren Cadden.

Healy led them out in the first leg in a time of 52.38 followed by Harrison’s run of 53.27.

Sligo AC runner Cadden posted 53.09 before a closing leg of 52.21 from Becker for an overall time of 3:30.95 in a race won by USA in a time of 3:21.70.

Speaking after the mixed relay success, Barr said that the progress made over recent years was incredible.

“I was here nine years ago in 22015 and we were sixth I think (in heat 3), the men’s team; the women’s team [Healy, Amy Foster, Stephanie Creaner and Catherine McManus] were fifth (4x100m heat),” he told Athletics Ireland.

Sharlene Mawdsley (R) and superstar Femke Bol of the Netherlands went head-to-head in the final leg

“We came out of it and I was quoted having said ‘just to be here us an unbelievable privilege’, and it was as good as that.

“Look on what we’ve built on in nine years so I am very, very proud of this team, what we’ve built in the last couple of years.

“I’m very, very proud to say that we gave absolutely everything we had today. It’s not just us four here on the track, there has been a huge amount of people involved in this team since its inception and, also, the subs that we have warming up with us today, on camp with us.

“We always do punch above our weight, that is our magic.”

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