Friday, July 11, 2014

Flash Gordon Ready To Light Up Morton

It really is glory days for 400m hurdling in Ireland right now. On Tuesday in Cork we had Javier Culson and Johnny Dutch. Tonight in Dublin we have Jehue Gordon. It wasn't long ago we would struggle to get a field of 4 or 5 together. The lane draw for tonight's Morton Games is:

1 - Matt Sumner (GBR)
2 - Paul Byrne (IRL)
3 - Jehue Gordon (TRI)
4 - Tom Barr (IRL)
5 - Takatoshi Abe (JPN)
6 - Mahau Suguimati (BRA)
7 - Jason Harvey (NI)
8 - Ger O' Donnell (IRL)

Just a reminder, the guy in lane three is the reigning World Champion.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Heavy Hurdling Artillary Rolls Into Cork

These guys are probably bigger than the big guns and will be coming into Tom Barr's backyard tonight and if they get the chance steal some of those famous Barr chicken's eggs. Its a super lineup with 47 second men Javier Culson and Johnny Dutch being Barr's big threats and credit must go to Cork City Sports organisers for making this happen. It was back in 2011 that we asked for a 400H race to be put on to get qualifying times for European Juniors and U23 for a group of hurdlers that included Tom Barr. Its fitting Cork City have continued the tradition and now Barr in the shape of his life gets to take these guys on on home soil. There will be two 400 hurdle races to accomodate the Irish guys, like Timmy Crowe and Paul Byrne, which is also great to see. The two races include:

Johnny Dutch 47.63
Javier Culson 47.72
Reggie Wyatt 48.58
Mahau Suguimati 48.67
Thomas Barr 48.90
Keisuke Nozawa 49.15
Seb Rodger 49.19
Yuki Matsushita 49.71
Tim Crowe 51.24
Paul Byrne 51.41

The women's 100H hurdles will include Sarah Lavin and will see her with a real chance of a win. Her biggest threats will be Sirena Williams USA (13.27) and Serita Solomon GBR (13.09). Catherine McManus and Megan Marrs are also down to start. Field includes:

Serita Solomon 13.09
Sarah Lavin 13.23
Sirena Williams 13.27
Karla Drew 13.37
Erica Kleinhaus 13.49
Megan Marrs 13.72
Catherine McManus 13.88

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Healy Pips Behan On The Line In Cork

Healy And Behan
Healy and Matthew Behan served up an epic battle for a little over 14 seconds in today's National Junior 110H in Cork. Healy has had the upper hand throughout the season and started as favourite but Behan had a stunning start to put Healy under massive pressure from the gun. Both young men showed huge composure and aggression and only 0.01 separated them at the death. Healy winning in 14.11 to Behan's 14.12.

Marrs vs McManus Round 2
Megan Marrs is a precocious talent and being guided by Tom Reynolds. She won the Junior 100H today in 14.42 and renewed her less than week old rivalry with Catherine McManus due to the Junior and U23 being combined. McManus repeated her win from Belfast of last Wednesday when first cross the line in 14.28. 

Donegal vs Tipp in Junior 400H
It was Tir Chonnaill vs Carrick-on-Suir in the Junior Women's 400H with Donelgal taking the 1-2 with Kate McGowan in first and Kelly McGrory in second. Both claimed super new PBs of 61.88 and 62.33 respectively. Carrick-on-Suir pair Leanne Prout (62.68 PB) and Kelly-Ann Doyle were 3rd and 4th. 

Other winners included Jessica Neville 64.60 U23 400H, Mark Rogers 59.84 Jun 400H, Dan Colbert 56.36 U23 400H, Ed O' Halloran 15.46 U23 110H ( with Eoin Power claiming silver in both U23 events). 

Friday, July 4, 2014

McManus Goes Sub 14 In Belfast

Belfast International
Catherine McManus held off the young pretender Megan Marrs to take the women's 100H at the Belfast International on Wednesday. Her time of 13.97 (-1.0m/s) was a season's best and her fastest run in over two years. Megan Marrs ran 14.03 with England's Shirin Irving 3rd in 14.20.

Ben Reynolds won the men's 110H in 13.81 (-1.0 m/s) from Julián Ortíz (14.25) of Spain and England's Jake Porter (14.54).

Jessie Barr was best of the Irish in the women's 400H when coming second in 58.85 with Christine McMahon in 3rd on the exact same time. Both were beaten by Aisha Naibe-Wey from England with 58.54.

Videos of the races

Leinster Juveniles
The Leinster Juvenile championships took place last weekend. Molly Scott has a new CBP in the GU16 80H with 11.52 (old record 11.69). Shannen Dawkins also has a CBP of 14.75 in the GU19 100H (old record was 15.56).

Schools International
The Irish team for the schools international to be held later this month was named.

Girls 80H
Molly Scott
Clodagh O' Mahoney

Girls 300H
Amaris Borel
Chloe Whelan

Boys 100H
Jack Murphy
Daniel Ryan

Boys 400H
Ciaran Barnes
Simon Essuman

Survey of Resistance Training for Sprinters and Hurdlers

Robin Healy, from the Biomechanics Research Unit, is undertaking a review of resistance training in relation to sprinters and hurdlers and is looking for participants in a survey.
The aim of the survey is to get an overview of what resistance training exercises are currently being prescribed to hurdlers and sprinters. A secondary aim is to get an idea of opinions and attitudes to resistance training in general and its application to hurdle and sprint athletes and if coaches are not prescribing resistance training for whatever reason we would like to know why. The survey seeks only to populate a list of the most used exercises and exercises that coaches deem inappropriate so that our research team can examine each exercises in terms of their potential transfer to performance. We will be able to determine what muscles are being recruited, in what order, for how long and compare this then to the sprint start, acceleration phase, maximal velocity phase and hopefully hurdle jumping. We will also be able to examine how the different body segments move in relation to each other and how quickly and once again compare these to actual performance. We understand that there are many ways of developing strength and power for hurdlers and sprinters and throughout an annual cycle the exercises prescribed will vary greatly. This is why we want to know the complete range of exercises prescribed.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

McMahon Star Performer On A Week Of Stars

McMahon Keeps Getting Faster
Christine McMahon's season just keeps getting better and better. A 2nd place in the Nivelle EAP Meet yesterday in 56.97 was inside the European Championship A Standard and moves her to 6th on the Irish All-Time List. It also brings her to nearly within a second of Elaine McLoughlin's NI Record of 55.91 set back in the Seoul Olympic Games in 1988.

Barr Wins Le Cheile
Tom Barr put on a show for the home crowd and beat Ian Dewhurst of Australia at the Le Cheile International on Friday night. His time of 49.91 was a solid performance in the cold and breezy conditions. Tim Crowe claimed 3rd in 52.41. Barr will race at Cork City and also Morton Games in the coming weeks.

Harvey Get Euro Standard At Leagues
Jason Harvey got his season firmly on track with a Euro Qualifier time of 50.86 at last weekend National League meet in Santry. He runs in the Mary Peters International over 400m flat next Wednesday. Other noticeable performances included PBs over 400mH for Amaris Borel (64.17) and Annabelle Morris (65.00).

Munster Juveniles
Clodagh O' Mahoney beat Mairead Murphy's 2006 CBP when winning the Girls U18 100mH at the Munster Juvenile Championship in CIT in 14.41. Sam Healy had a 14.26 in Boys U19 110mH while Kelly-Ann Doyle (62.33) and Leanne Prout (62.72) both had PBs in the Girls U18 400mH.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Derval O' Rourke - The Greatest Irish Hurdler Ever

By Jeremy Lyons
I think I might have been in one proper fight when I was growing up when I actually punched someone. It’s not something I naturally lean towards doing but Derval O’ Rourke nearly pushed me to it about it six years ago. Well not her exactly but a ‘discussion’ I was having on an anonymous message board regarding her. A troll, is I believe what they are called, was ripping shreds off her. It was savage stuff regarding her performances after Beijing, when she was knocked out in the heats, but was also getting personal and pretty nasty with blatant untruths.  I think I was her number one fan back then and I was taking it personally and if I could have met the Troll, in real life and face to face, I reckon I would have given him a Begbie from Trainspotting (I’m still looking out for him, I found out who he was but I don’t know where he lives).
I suppose it is an Irish condition based on generations of Catholic guilt that we should never get too big for our boots or aim too high. Derval O’ Rourke always aimed high and I think she annoyed a lot of Irish people because of that. She probably didn’t tolerate people who didn’t share her ambitions. Indeed many times you did need blind faith to believe her if she said she would make a final at an upcoming championships.  Like in 2009, come late July she had only sneaked under 13 seconds once and was averaging 13.20 in her races. Hardly demonstrating signs or giving signals that a 12.67 and 4th in the Worlds was in the bag a mere three weeks later.
She did that too many times though for it to be a fluke. She has something that you probably can’t define or can ever teach. I remember she spoke about psychology and race preparation at an Irish Hurdlers workshop we did in DCU a couple of years ago. She said she has this natural ability to just close her eyes and visualise herself running fast, she always had it. She was never trained on how to do it, she just always had it. That’s the closest I have got to explaining why she always delivered to the max when it was needed the most. I’m not sure many other athletes have that innate ability, certainly Irish athletes.
My best memories of athletics, bar none, involve shouting, screaming, sliding on my knees in front of a TV, including one time with my wife on my shoulders, watching Derv nailing it in a Majors. I recently got a bottle of Bollinger at work and its sitting gathering dust at home. I mentioned to the shoulder sitting wife just last night that we should crack it open at some stage. We have an excuse now. To toast the greatest athlete we have known.