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Tuesday 6 December 2016

McCourt's masterful display Down Under

Cathy McCourt.
Cathy McCourt.

Belfast athlete Cathy McCourt proved the star of the 18-strong Irish Team at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Perth, Australia.

McCourt began her campaign on the opening day of the competition when she finished second in the W40 cross-country. She also helped the Irish team to silver, backed by Dubliner Sue Zlnay, a long-time Australian resident, and Anne Gormley of Donore Harriers.

On the track, she finished third in both the 5000m and 10,000m. She then got a few days rest before lining out in the half marathon. In this she finished second for her fifth medal of the championships.

For McCourt, a promising junior who only came back to athletics at the age of 32, it was a fairytale to a year when she thought injury might sideline her permanently

Ireland took eleven medals in total, with the only gold won by Seán Cooney from Tara AC, winner of the M75 marathon

In a busy time for masters athletics, a strong Irish team heads for the annual British and Irish Cross-Country International in Glasgow on Saturday.

Leading an exceptionally strong women's team is Anne Marie McGlynn of Letterkenny AC, overall winner of the race last year.

Also running is Carmel Parnell, who hopes to add to her record total of ten wins when she lines out in the W60 race.

On the men's team, Paddy Hamilton, Irish M35 1500m and 5000m champion, is joined on a strong M35 team by Michael Harty.

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