Gold for Kirk & Silver for Mageean in Tallinn
Lagan Valley's Katie Kirk lead the GB 4X400 metres to superb gold medals in today's final day of the European Athletics Junior Championships in Tallinn.
17 year old Katie from Holywood was given the difficult lead off leg because of her fastest PB time when winning the AAA's title last month. She held her own against the other 6 teams and handed over to Lucy James who had an excellent second leg. Amelia Clifford ran the 3rd leg and gave the baton to Kirsten McAslan for the final leg who had a battle royal with 4 other teams before pulling clear in the home straight.
The GB team just snached gold in a time of 3 mins 35.29 secs from Poland who were a mere 0.06 secs behind. This gold is the greatest achievement of Katie's career to date and augurs well for future successes.
Aviva GB & NI Team Leader Kevin Tyler said: "The girls put in a really inspiring performance in the 4 x 400m relay tonight and it was a fantastic end to a really great Championship. To win three medals in four relays today has been brilliant".
Earlier Lisburn AC's Ciara Mageean saw the gold medal frustratingly snatched away from her in the closing stages of the 1,500 metres event. The 18 year old Portaferry woman took the silver when she was caught in the last 70 metres by Serbia's Amela Terzic who crossed the line in 4 mins 15.40 secs with Ciara some 2 secs slower in a season's best of 4 mins 16.82 secs.
During the race Ciara used perfect tactics by leading with a slow pace which no-one was prepared to increase. At the bell she started to wind things up and then accelerated away from the field with 300 metres to go. She had a 15 metres gap on Terzic at that stage who seemed to be strugging because of her 3,000 metres victory the previous day.
However the tall Serbian closed on Ciara in the home straight with the Irish woman unable to match Terzic's last lap time of 60 secs. This is nevertheless Ciara's most significant performance since her silver medal from last year's World Junior Champs. Afterward the race today, Mageean did not want to hide her apparent disappointment:
"I can't say that I'm truly satisfied with my performance, since I went out to win the gold medal, but I didn�t achieve my goal. The seasonal best does not matter much because the gold was my goal here. The track was good and the crowd supportive."
The winner Terzic of Serbia was in a happier mood. "The race went very well for me, and I could not be happier. I changed all the goals I set for myself this year, and this is just splendid."
Coach Eamon Christie said; "Ciara is frankly disappointed with a silver medal-she came to Tallinn to win gold.She didn't hear Terzic coming in the home straight but when the Serbian drew level Ciara could not respond. This is however a season's best for her and is frankly great progress from a month ago when an ankle injury put a question mark on her racing here at all"
This on top of Joanna Mills 4th placing and Katie's 5th at 400m has been a fantastic outing for Northern Ireland athletes- well done to all involved! Meanwhile at the BMC meeting in Stretford there were several useful performances by NI athletes.
There were 2nd fastest ever times for Eddie McGinley of Annadale in the 3,000 metres (8.17.98) and Conor Bradley of City of Derry in the 1,500 metres (3.47.65). Other results included Kelly McNeice of Lisburn (2nd in the 800 metres in 2.06.16),Kerry Harty of Newcastle (6th in the 1,500 metres in 4.20.54) and Andrew Agnew of Annadale (7th in the 3,000 metres in 8.22.97)
BMC Results BMC 800m C (Mens) 1 18 1 01:50.62 Jack Hallas U23 Wakefield 9 19 2 02:02.17 Mark Patterson U23 North Down BMC 800m A (Womens) 1 76 1 02:03.06 Jessica Smith Canada 7 77 2 02:06.16 Kelly Mcneice City Of Lisburn BMC 1500m B (Mens) . 1 137 8 03:43.35 Philip Hurst U23 Elswick / Gateshead 7 141 12 03:47.65 Conor Bradley City Of Derry BMC 1500m D (Mens) 1 168 11 03:48.44 David Rooney Ireland 9 298 13 04:06.13 Michael Mckillop St. Malcahly's BMC 1500m A (Womens) 1 203 8 04:17.58 Orla Drumm University College Cork 2 205 10 04:18.76 Katrina Wootton Bedford & County 3 200 5 04:19.32 Charlotta Fougberg Sweden 4 201 6 04:20.54 Kerry Harty Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow BMC 3000m A (Mens) 1 228 6 07:56.84 James Wilkinson U23 Leeds City 2 236 14 07:57.21 Sean Connolly Tallaght / Ireland 3 233 11 07:58.83 Jonathan Taylor Morpeth / Teeside Uni 14 242 20 08:17.98 Eddie Mcginley Liverpool H / Annadale BMC 3000m B (Mens) 1 252 10 08:15.42 Simon Deakin Leeds City 2 263 21 08:16.67 Kieran Clements U20 Ipswich 7 243 1 08:22.97 Andrew Agnew Annadale