The U20 and U23 Indoor National Championships 2024 took place yesterday day in the fabulous indoor arena in Athlone.
Five of our MSB athletes made it to the line taking part in six events.
First up was Emmanuel Akinrolie, who was taking part in his first national event, in the U20 60m. In the first heat he ran a 7.30s just 0.08s outside his PB that he attained just a week ago. Not fast enough to qualify for the final but 12th out of the 22 participants is very good indeed!
Nkem Onwumereh who has been winning sprint medals since U12 level, made his first foray in the U23s and took first place in his heat very comfortably in 7.01 and qualified fastest for the final.
Ellen McLoughlin also in her first U23 event toed the line in the 1500m and ran a very solid race to run a PB time of 5:06.22
Louie Woodger, looking to defend his title, was up next in a stacked U20 1500m. The race set off at a furious pace with Louie keeping in touching distance all the way. He made his move with 350m to go and pushed into second place but gradually got overhauled to finish in a very good 4th place with all the top 4 going under Cian McPhilip’s championship best from 2019. Louie’s 3:54.67 was a two second PB and a great season opener.
Nkem returned to the track for his U23 60m final. He got a fantastic start and blasted to the front and led from gun to tape in a brilliant time of 6.84s! A great Gold and a brilliant national champion!
Finn Woodger took to the line in the U23 800m and after a cagey first couple of laps the race sped up and Finn took to the front holding the inside line the whole way.
Finn kept to the front right until the last few metres where two of the chasing three athletes just managed to pip him to the line. A great achievement to gain a national bronze and duplicate the achievement from last year.
Emmanuel was back in action in the 200m and in his first competitive 200m he ran 23.49s to take 3rd place in the first heat. With only 6 qualifiers from 7 heats it seemed unlikely that Emmanuel could make the final but he was in the hotseat right until the 6th heat and finished 7th overall just one place of qualifying for the final. What a fantastic start for Emmanual at a national championships!
What a great day for MSB on the national stage with 2 medals and 3 PBs by our Fab 5 upcoming stars.
Report: Mark Woodger