PHIL Healy set the track alight with a championship record of 23.16 seconds in the women’s Irish Life Health National Indoor Championships 200m race.
The Bandon AC ace is doubling in these championships as she’s also running the 60m on Sunday for ‘fun’ and went in lane six.
An excellent first bend in the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena set up the race for the Bandon athlete with Rhasidat Adeleke (Tallaght) one lane inside. Healy, from Ballineen in west Cork, sped away to 23.16 with Adeleke settling for silver in 24.08 and Catherine McManus (DCH) in third in 24.31.
Mark Smyth (Raheny Shamrock) was equally impressive in the men’s 200m storming away (thankfully indoors from Storm Jorge) to win gold in 21.04 from Paul McDermott (Donore Harriers) second in 21.73 and Robert McDonnell (Galway City Harriers) in third in 22.06.
There was plenty of excitement in the men’s 5,000m race walk, even with only three competitors lining up.
But it was a quality three with Alex Wright (Leevale) the defending champion in with world sixth-placer Brendan Boyce (Finn Valley) and up-and-comer David Kenny (Farranfore Maine Valley).
25 laps of the indoor track awaited, and they ticked off at a quick rate with some risks being taken and yellow cards being dished out. Wright was to the fore early on but then the lead changed hands with Kenny and Boyce pushing forward.
Wright went back in front but a red card and a trip to the time penalty zone was in the offing which he refused as he walked off the track.
Effectively his race was over and it was a duel between Robert Heffernan’s stable. Kenny had the gap though and held on for an excellent gold in 19:45.57 to Boyce’s 20:07.52.