Bandon's Diarmuid O’Connor sets a new personal best in the decathlon

This total was just 20 points short of the Irish junior record held by Limerick man Barry Walsh since 1987

A month ago Diarmuid O’Connor of Bandon travelled to Arona in Spain for a decathlon competition and ended the two day competition with a new PB of 7316 points, just twenty points short of the Irish junior record held by Limerick man Barry Walsh since 1987.

During the course of the two day event O’Connor set new PBs in the 400m, high jump and pole vault, displaying a unique combination of speed, strength and stamina.

Last weekend he was back in action at the SPAR European junior track and field championships in Talinn, Estonia, competing in his second decathlon in the space of a month.

Anyone who thought this competition came too soon after Arona was soon proved wrong after he clocked 11.15 in his first event over 100m for a new PB.

The long jump followed and another PB, going over 7m for the first time with 7.01m, and followed with a throw of 13.71m, just 9cm short of his Arona best for the shot.

A clearance of 2.00m in the high jump was another PB, and he completed Day 1 with a time of 49.12 over 400m and another PB.

Competition started on Sunday with the 110m hurdles that he covered in a time of 14.36 and yet another new PB.

The PBs continued with a throw of 39.73m in the discus, adding 2.50m to his previous best, followed by a clearance of 4.30m in the pole vault for yet another new PB.

His penultimate event was the javelin and a throw of 49.02m for another PB before finishing off the competition with a time of 4:31.63.

He ended the competition with a points total of 7604 to smash the long standing Irish junior record and a highly creditable fourth place finish in Europe. 

Well done to Diarmuid O’Connor and his coach Frank Stam who is a research scientist on this magnificent performance.

Maeve O’Neill of Doheny’s set a new PB of 2:07.91 in her heat of the 800m and then clocked 2:10.61 for seventh place in the semi final. 

She was also a member of the 4X400m team that finished fifth in the final, along with Lauren McCourt of Bandon.

Nicola Tuthill of Bandon never got going in the hammer, throwing 54.78m in the first round of qualifying and fouling her other two attempts, while clubmate Fionn Harrington was 16th in the 3,000m in 8:29.71.

Ireland finished the championships with four gold medals to finish third on the medals table behind GB, the most successful championships for Ireland ever.

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