Mayo community games athletes shine in Carlow

Community Games

The message circulating in the regions over the past four weeks was that Community Games certainly had made a welcome comeback for all to witness.

This certainly was the case when over 400 young participants took to the roads of Ireland in search of the Carlow IT Sports Campus for the Aldi National Community games track and field and grass cycling finals.

The campus can only be described as one of the best in the country. Mayo Community Games competitors made the long journey south in the hope that they would reach the podium and claim a medal of some colour for their training and dedication to athletics over the summer months.

A total of 34 competitors arrived in Carlow to take part in 24 track events and 14 field events. One of the highlights of the day was to see Marcus Lawlor, an Irish Olympian in the 200 metres this year in Tokyo. He was joined by Sarah Quinn from Ballinrobe who competed for Ireland this year in the 4 X 200 meter relays where she won a world silver medal. Sarah Quinn is a former winner of the National Community games under 14 80 metre hurdles some years ago in Athlone. Both athletes were available to present medals and many Mayo competitors had the distinction of meeting their heroes.

Overall the AlDI National community games track and field finals proved to be a major success with Mayo taking home a total of 14 medals. The sight of 3 gold, 3 silver, 3 bronze, 4 fourth placed and one participation medal was a welcome development.

Kate Brennan from the famous village of Cong was in top form when she stormed to victory in the girls U14 80M hurdles. This young athlete is a prospect for the future and has the skills and technique to progress to greater things.

Barry Langan from Ballinrobe secured a gold medal in the boys under 14 javelin with a throw of 36.10m. This young thrower has a bright future in his chosen field event.

Rihanna Waters-Moran made it a historic double for Ballinrobe when she won a gold medal in the girls under 14 javelin with an outstanding throw of 31.49 metres.

Lillian O’Brien from Turlough Towers finished second in the girls under 14 800 metres to win a silver medal. Lillian made up serious ground over the final hundred metres to secure the medal.

Ruby Jennings from Claremorris was another silver medallist in the girls under 14 shot putt with a throw of 9.80 metres. This competition was evenly contested and Ruby can be very proud of her achievement on the day.

David Lally from Claremorris ran a brilliant tactical race in the boys under 14 800 metres to lift the silver medal, at one stage it looked possible that he could actually win it but it didn’t materialise.

Amelia Duffy from Balla ran a great race to claim a bronze medal in the girls under 10 100 meters. This was a fast race from the minute the starter blew his whistle. Amelia will be pleased to have collected her second community games medal in a little less than two years.

Holly McElarney from Ballinrobe had a fantastic race in the girls under 10 200 meters race to finish third and accept a bronze medal. This race has proven to be one of the toughest on the programme of events but Holly was truly outstanding on the day.

In the boys under 14 long jump Aiden Dempsey from the county town of Castlebar secured a bronze medal after some great jumps. Aiden was always in the mix to win a medal in a very competitive event which was great to watch. Fourth placed medals were introduced several years ago and the decision was the correct one.

Ryan McCormack from Ballinrobe proved his throwing ability in the ball throw when he won a fourth place medal in the event.Kyle Gleeson from Claremorris showed great style when he competed in the boys under 10 60 meter hurdles to claim a fourth place medal.

Lexi Murphy from the parish of Carra has become a household name following her gold medal regional success and her Communion on the one-day several weeks ago in Claremorris. Lexi returned to Carlow to compete in the under 10 60 meter hurdles and finished fourth to claim a well deserved medal.

It surely was a memorable few weeks for this young ambitious athlete.Laura Hoade has several National Community Games medals and the Cong athlete was in flying form to add to that collection when she finished fourth in the girls under 14 100 meter sprint. Community games introduced participation medals for under 8 competitors at national level and this has proved to be a great decision.

On this occasion Casey Coyle from Belmullet received her medal after taking part in the girls under 8, 60 meter sprint. This was a great achievement for Casey and a day in her life that she will remember for years to come.

Along with the success in the track and field events Mayo community games had many more competitors who participated in many other events and they can be so proud of their achievements on the day. Every athlete is a champion whether they win or lose.

They started in their own area and then proceeded to the Mayo finals and for the very first time in community games athletics they represented their region which included Donegal.

Mayo Community games would like to thank Charlie Cloherty, Liam Meenahan, Katie Grimes, Lucia McDonnell, Hugh Lenihan, Matthew Kelly, Angela Duffy, Oran Murphy, Kate Morley, Ali Hughes, Gavin Murphy, Cara Higgins, Kevin Duffy, Aoife Blewitt, Niamh Walsh, Doireann Guilfoile, Noeli Jennings, Grace Davoren-King, Mark Wallace and James Duffy who proudly represented Mayo in their events at the ALDI National Community Games track and field finals in Carlow.

The journey was long but this bunch of athletes are the stars of tomorrow and we look forward to seeing them on the national stage again in the coming years in the sporting world.

A word of thanks to all the parents, coaches and trainers who travelled and prepared the children for this major event which was held in a safe manner and we look forward to many more events over the coming weekends in community games.


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