As the countdown to the World Athletics Championships in Budapest dwindles, the excitement continues to build, and Ireland's exceptional athletes are gearing up to dazzle on the global stage. From August 19th to the 27th, Budapest will play host to over 2,000 athletes representing 200 countries, and among them, Ireland's largest-ever squad is set to stand out and make their mark.
Stepping into the spotlight is none other than Ciara Mageean, a name synonymous with excellence in the 1500m category. Mageean's recent achievement, demolishing Sonia O'Sullivan's long-standing national mile record with a blazing 4.14.58, has put her back at the forefront of the Irish athletics scene.
Flanking Mageean are two other stars who've been turning heads this season. Sarah Lavin, a force to be reckoned with in the 100m hurdles, is fresh off a European Games bronze medal win. With her eyes set on scaling even greater heights, Lavin has become a consistent performer on the world stage. Rhasidat Adeleke, from Tallaght A.C., is set to make waves in both the 400m and Women's 4x400m Relay events. Her decision to go pro is a testament to her dedication, and her stellar performance in the NCAA 400m Division One Championship earlier this year further cements her status as a rising star.
Amid these seasoned competitors, the fresh faces of Sophie O'Sullivan and Sarah Healy are ready to shine. Both European medallists, O'Sullivan and Healy are poised to embrace the challenge of senior championship experience, a vital juncture in their blossoming careers. O'Sullivan, daughter of the legendary Sonia O'Sullivan and coached by Mauricia Powell, boasts not only talent but also the legacy of her remarkable lineage.
The stage is set for a thrilling opening day, with a packed schedule that promises riveting action. Kate O'Connor of Dundalk St Gerards AC is set to tackle the first of her heptathlon events, the 100m hurdles. O'Connor's remarkable Commonwealth Games silver and her recent record-breaking feats have solidified her status as a beacon of Irish athletics. The 1500m category, a battleground of extraordinary talent, will witness the triumphant return of Ciara Mageean, Sophie O'Sullivan, and Sarah Healy. Their determination to succeed against world-class opposition reflects their unwavering commitment to their craft.
Adding to the excitement, the mixed 4x400m relay team, a consistent standout, is ready to make waves once again. The lineup, featuring Roisin Harrison, Callum Baird, Christopher O'Donnell, Sophie Becker, Jack Raftery, and Sharlene Mawdsley, has a history of reaching finals at major championships like the Tokyo Olympics and the previous World Championships. Their synchronized efforts and collective prowess make them a formidable force on the track.
Sharlene Mawdsley, who is now ranked 4th on the Irish all-time list when she set a personal best of 51.34 in June, will be competing in the mens and mixed 4x400m relays, as well as the individual 400m race. Mawdsley also became Ireland's senior women's national champion in the 400m, at the competition, in the end of July.
Louise Shanahan will be competing in the women's 800m. She is currently ranked in 21st place in the world for the women's 800 and took fifth place in last year's world championships in Eugene, Oregon. Shanahan is looking to take back the 800m Irish record, which she held until it was broken by Ciara Mageean this year, and qualify for Paris 2024.
In an unprecedented development, Irish viewers can experience the championship action in real-time, thanks to Virgin Media's live broadcast. This historic return to terrestrial television marks a significant moment for the nation, allowing fans to share in the triumphs and heartaches of their favorite athletes.
As the days draw closer to the World Athletics Championships, anticipation surges, and Ireland's athletes stand ready to etch their names in the annals of history. From record breakers to medal contenders, these athletes embody the spirit of perseverance, dedication, and passion. With their eyes on the prize and the support of a nation behind them, Ireland's athletics stars are poised to shine brighter than ever on the world stage in Budapest.
Morning – Saturday August 19th – Irish Time (Local Time)
- Kate O’Connor – Women’s Heptathlon 100m Hurdles – Heats – 09:35 (10:35)
- Mixed 4x400m Relay – Round One – 10:05 (11:05)
- Kate O’Connor – Women’s Heptathlon High Jump – 10:45 (11:45)
- Ciara Mageean – Women’s 1500m – Round One – 12:15 (13:15)
- Sarah Healy – Women’s 1500m – Round One – 12:15 (13:15)
- Sophie O’Sullivan – Women’s 1500m – Round One – 12:15 (13:15)
Evening – Saturday August 19th
- Kate O’Connor – Women’s Heptathlon Shot Put – 18:05 (19:05)
- Kate O’Connor – Women’s Heptathlon 200m – Heats – 19:30 (20:30)
- Mixed 4x400m Relay – Final – 20:47 (21:47)
Team Ireland Women
|Rhasidat Adeleke||400m, W4x400m|
|Sharlene Mawdsley||400m, Mx4x400m, W4x400m|
|Sophie Becker||Mx 4x400m, W4x400m|
|Roisin Harrison||Mx 4x400m, W4x400m|