Ireland sign-off in record breaking fashion

Scott Rankin
Scott Rankin

Ireland’s team signed off from the World Athletics Championships in Beijing with a national record in the 4x400 relay.

Brian Gregan ran the first leg from the outside, Brian Murphy and hurdles star Thomas Barr followed before Letterkenny’s two lap star Mark English took the final stage.

The time of 3:01.26 for 8th in the semi final set the new record. They ranked 13th overall and must now be looking forward to the Olympics in Rio.

English said: “We will be aiming for the Europeans next year and there is no reason that we can’t make the final in the Olympics.”

Defending champion Rob Heffernan made a very gallant defence of his 50K walk title after any injury hit preparation. He was in medal contention for most of the distance before coming in fifth in 3:44:17, Brendan Boyce was disqualified while Alex Wright failed to finish.

Scott Rankin came back to winning ways to take the Mighty Oaks 5K Road Race promoted by Acorns AC at Magherafelt.

The Foyle Valley athlete crossed the line fifty nine seconds before Paralympic gold medallist Michael McKillop with Darrell McKee and Noel Logan following.

Sarah Jane Guiney ran well to take the Ladies from Debbie Matchett with Lorna Sibbett and Ruth Perioli making up the top four. There 284 finishers.

Harry Speers capitalised on a great swim to win the Mourne Triathlon at Castlewellan. He led clearly out of the water but then had to fend off a tremendous challenge from Barry Convery on the cycle and run. The final gap was eighteen seconds.

Kevin Egan in third was closely followed by Michael Sinton, James Clelland and Finbar McGrady. Claire McAvoy and Katherine Kelly were top Ladies. There 254 finishers.