9th July 2017 at Tullamore Harriers Stadium.
Longford athletic club juvenile members travelled to Tullamore for the second day of the national juvenile championships on Sunday the 9th of July. Each Longford athlete had already performed really well this season in qualifying for the national finals by placing in the top three in Connacht. The national finals are a big step up in quality with the very best in Ireland competing.
First up for Longford in the field events were Paul Idahor in the U15 boy’s long jump and Ryan Keogh in the U12 turbo Javelin. Paul longest jump of 4.25 was not enough to get him amongst the medals. This was Paul’s first outing at national finals and he showed he has the potential to perform really well at this level in future. Ryan finished 9th overall with a throw of 23.21 and just missed out on making the final eight by a small margin and getting a further three throws. This would have given Ryan a chance to throw nearer his personal best which would have placed him in the top 6 on the day. Paul and Ryan gained valuable expedience at national level and with more work over the winter months on these technical events they both can look forward to event better results next year.
After lunch the remaining Longford athletes were ready for action on the track in the sprint events. Dylan Horkan was running in the boy’s U18 400m. Dylan moved to the 400m this year having previously concentrated on the 200m and 800m. Dylan qualified to nationals after having a great race in Connacht were he ran under 55 seconds. Dylan disappointedly suffered injury during his heat but showed great spirit to finish out his race. Dylan can be proud of his Connacht performance and will come back stronger having chalked off the nationals as one of those unlucky days.
The shorter sprints were up next. Longford had a strong contingent of participants in these very competitive races. Matthew McCormack started in the U12 boys 60m. This was Matthew’s first time competing at national level. Matthew ran with great determination in his heat to qualify for the final where he again demonstrated his speed to finish 6th in a very tight race. Matthew showed he has the ability to mix it with the best in the country in his age and with more training can be in contention for medals in the future.
Funmi Talabi who has been a regular contender in recent years at national level was competing in the U13 girl’s 80m. Funmi qualified into the final as third fastest and a potential podium finisher. In the final Funmi got a poor start and was playing catch up for the rest of the race. Funmi still managed to finish in 5th place in a very close race only .07 of a second from silver. Funmi is certainly one of the fastest U13 girls in the country and with a better start has the potential to be the very fastest.
New to athletic competition this year in the U15 boys 100m was Davidson Olusanya. Davidson has shown his potential this year already having qualified through Connacht. The national finals are a big step up in quality and Davidson’s experience will prepare him for future competition at this level.
Yemi Talabi qualified comfortably as fourth fastest into the final of the U16 girls 100m. In a very close final Yemi finished in an excellent fourth overall. Yemi got off to a poor start and had a little too much to do to get into the medals. Yemi has tremendous athletic ability and natural speed. When she executes her race and start as she would like she will be right up there fighting for gold.
Gospel Idahor performed excellently in the U17 girls 100m qualifying for the final and finishing in 5th overall. Gospel is committed to training and competition and provides a great example to all our juvenile members on how with talent and dedication you can progress to a high level in your chosen event.
In recent years Aaron Kelly has consistently been a top sprint performer at Connacht and National level. Aaron was racing in the very competitive U18 boys 100m. Aaron just failed to qualify into the final from a very difficult heat. Aaron can build on this performance knowing that he has the ability and speed to challenge for final places and medals in the future.
Longford AC sprinters were on the track on Day 2 of the Irish Life Health National Juvenile Outdoor Track & Field Championships 2017: Yemi Talabi, Funmi Talabi, Goaspel Idahor, Paul Idahor and Davidson Olusayna.