05 Dec 2021

Athletics: big performances from Kildare athletes

National titles for John Fitzsimons and Ciaran Connolly

Athletics: big performances from Kildare athletes

John Fitzsimons of Kildare AC, far left, dips for the line to win the Men's 800m ahead of Luke McCann of UCD AC, in the Irish Life Health National Senior Championships

The 149th running of the National Senior Championships took place over the weekend at Morton Stadium, Santry where the men's 800m final threw up a spectacular finish with Kildare A.C athlete John Fitzsimons getting the nod ahead of Luke McCann in an extremely tight contest.
Fitzsimons finished in a time of 1.49:48, 3 hundredths of a second ahead of McCann who finished in 1.49:51.
McCann led from the gun hoping to use his excellent 1500m strength to make the race a real test. As they went through the bell in 53 seconds McCann was still stretching the field down the back straight and went through 600m in 1.22.
Fitzsimons in 4th position at this point had a little bit of work to do. He began to edge closer around the final bend and being forced to come wide up the home straight McCann looked like he was going to hold on. But the Kildare man showed his usual resilience and was able to get across the line just ahead of McCann.
Fitzsimons' first Senior title will no doubt be one to remember and a performance to be proud off as he heads off to Europe for a busy period of racing.
Ciaran Connolly continued his strong recent form taking the win in the high jump with a clearance of 2.05m. The Le Cheile AC athlete confirmed his position as the best high jumper in the country with his first Senior title which follows his u23 National Championship victory last week.
The men's 1500m proved to be another exciting race where Kevin Kelly from St.Coca's A.C was in action. Kelly looked comfortable throughout the race and made his move with 200m left to run. He was leading into the home straight but faded in the final 50m to come home in third place in 3.49:40 behind pre-race favorite Andrew Coscoran from the Star of the Sea club in 3.48:89 and the fast-finishing Cathal Doyle from Clonliffe Harriers AC, 3.48:96, in second.
Other County Kildare athletes had a successful weekend with medals across a range of events including: Patrick Corrigan, Suncroft AC - Gold, u23 Weight for Distance; Niamh O'Connor, Celbridge AC Silver, 5km Walk; Adam McInerney, Celbridge AC Bronze, 10km Walk; Aisling MacHugh, Naas AC -Bronze, Triple Jump.

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