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Tuesday 20 August 2019

Sprint queen Ciara clocks 11.33 for 100m

Ciara Neville. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Ciara Neville. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Eleven seconds never passed so fast and, for Ciara Neville, they did so in a dazzling blur of blazing speed.

The 19-year-old Limerick sprinter lit up the National Senior Championships in Santry last night, clocking the second fastest time by an Irishwoman for 100m: 11.33 seconds.

For years the Emerald AC athlete has been on the radar of all with their eyes on the next generation of Irish stars, carving up the underage record books as a teenager.

Earlier this month she finished fifth in the 100m final at the European U-23 Championships and on Saturday the signs were ominous as she coasted to victory in her 100m heat in 11.40. But that time did not count for qualification or ranking purposes as no wind reading was recorded, an embarrassing oversight by officials which left Neville frustrated. "I used it to fuel me on and be more determined," she said.

In the final she rocketed out of the blocks and powered away from the field, crossing the line in disbelief.

"I was screaming on the inside and was delighted," she said.

It was behind only the Irish record of 11.28 run by Phil Healy and just off the World Championship standard of 11.24. "Phil is a class act so I'll just be using her to fuel me on to catch up with her," said Neville.

Healy was in action in the 200m with Ireland's fastest woman powering to gold in 23.33 - just 14 weeks after breaking her foot while warm weather training in Malta.

"From what I've come from, I'm really happy to put that performance out there," she said. "I knew there was a quick time in me."

Mark English won his seventh title in the men's 800m. The UCD athlete took his sixth straight victory at the event in 1:48.15. "I knew it'd be a tight race but that was good," said English. "It was like what a World Championship heat would be like." English revealed he will probably moveabroad after the World Championships ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

He will race the Cork City Sports and Morton Games next month along with the Birmingham Diamond League before the World Championships in Doha.

Teenage star Sarah Healy (18) showed her class in the 1500m. The Dubliner repelled Síofra Cléirigh-Buttner to win gold in 4:31.84.

Ciara Mageean was highly impressive, winning the 800m in 2:07.30.

Leon Reid came from behind to win the men's 200m, pushing past Carlow's Marcus Lawler to win in 20.62. There was drama in the men's 400m, where Christopher O'Donnell won in 47.05. He faced a head-to-head duel down the home straight with Harry Purcell, who dived for the finish and crashed to the track but had to settle for second in 47.09.

John Travers retained his 1500m title in 3:49.40. In the men's shot put Eric Favors threw a championship record of 18.64m.

Sarah Lavin powered to victory in the 100m hurdles in 13.30 and Ger O'Donnell retained his title in the men's 110m hurdles in 14.26.

Paul Byrne won his first senior title in the men's 400m hurdles in 51.71, while St Abban's clubmate Nessa Millet won the women's 400m hurdles in 58.83.

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