JAMES Kelly and Brendan O’Donnell returned gold medals for Donegal on the first day of the National Junior and Under-23 Championships at Morton Stadium today.
Finn Valley AC’s Kelly threw a championship best of 16.90 metres to win the men’s under-23 shot put title, while Lifford-Strabane AC’s O’Donnell won the U23 men’s hammer gold.
Kelly starred in his shot put attempt to lay down a new championship marker. The previous best of 16.69m was set by his older brother John in 2017
Kelly the younger landed at 16.90 on his fifth throw of the afternoon.
Sean Carolan from Nenagh Olympic was his nearest challenger at 13.13 but Kelly, who will now have designs on next weekend’s national seniors, took the gold and set a new championship record.
O’Donnell sealed hammer gold in fine fashion with his best throw reaching out to 61.32m.
Sean Mickler of Moycarkey Coolcroo AC won silver with a 53.26m effort, but O’Donnell was the comfortable winner, retaining the title he also won in 2020.
Finn Valley AC’s Karen Gallagher won silver in the under-23 women’s 5000m. Gallagher crossed the line in 18:44.11, with that race won by Laura Tinkler of Dublin City Harriers in 17:25.18.
Letterkenny AC’s Ryan Canning was the silver medalist in the junior 400m hurdles. Canning finished in 56.14 seconds, behind winner Alan Miley, with Tir Chonaill AC’s Eoin Sharkey collecting the bronze in 57.26 seconds.
Finn Valley AC’s Joseph Gillespie won silver in the junior men’s triple jump. Gillespie’s effort of 13.45m, which is a new personal best, was edged by the 13.56m of Galway City Harriers man Richard Kamsen.
In the junior women’s hammer, Lifford-Strabane AC’s Adrienne Gallen, the Donegal record holder, took the silver medal.
Bandon’s Nicola Tuthill won gold with a stunning 59.74m, a European U20 qualifying standard, with Gallen earning silver via a 49.15m throw.
In the junior men’s hammer, Cormac O’Donnell of Lifford-Strabane AC won bronze, reaching out to 52.38m for a new personal best. That event was won by Na Fianna’s Robert Higgins (57.63m).Tags: