European Glory Rome 2024

We have just seen an incredible few days in Irish athletics with a number of medals coming back from the European Championships in Rome. Where the 4×400 mixed relay team won gold, Ciara Mageen is the new 1500m women’s European champion and we have also saw the women’s 4×400 relay team win silver just being denied by Netherlands with Femke Bol running to good last leg of that particular final to see off the late charge of Sharlene Mawdsley.

This week in Rome saw 4 medals come our way with gold coming to Ciara Mageen and the 4×400 mixed relay team, Thomas Barr, Chris O Donnell, Sharlene Mawdsley and Rhasidat Adeleke with silver going to the women’s 4×400 relay team of Sharlene Mawdsley, Sophie Becker, Rhasidat Adeleke, Phil Healy and Lauren Cadden and silver for Rhasidat Adeleke in the 400m, her first medal at senior level.

What the past week has shown is that good work is being done both domestically and on an international level where a number of our athletes are trained abroad. Time now for the feet to be put back firmly on the floor and see can the good work done at European level can that be transferred to Olympic level in Paris in a few weeks’ time.

We have always been able to win medals in one off situations but the key will be can we back up the great showings of the past couple of weeks again in Paris.

Of course some other members of the Irish team didn’t perform to their own expectations and will go back to the drawing board with coaches over the next while to see where improvements can be made for the tilt at the Olympics.

From a personal level, it was great to have my own Eamon Coughlan moment listening to Greg Allen call Ciara Mageen home to complete the set of European medals in the 1500m, she has now won gold, silver and bronze at European level and like others will want to see that good form translate to a strong showing in Paris.

I do remember Sonia O Sullivan winning silver in Sydney in 2000 where she kicked but Gabriella Shabo saw her off in dramatic fashion. Let’s see can our medal winners from Rome along with their team mates make the necessary adjustments to help them achieve good things.

A word too for all the backroom team members of the Irish team who keep these athletes in good shape in tight turn arounds in lots of cases. The work done by all again shows it is still a team effort even in an individual sport like athletics.

To see many people stop what they were at last weekend as Ciara Mageen won gold shows the appetite for  sport is still as strong as it always is in Ireland. The green singlet stills means as much as it did when Ronnie Delaney won gold in Melbourne in 1956.

All the best to all with preparations for Paris 2024, it was straight back to work for a number of our athletes as they returned to their respective  training bases all over the globe.

 A big summer of sport kicks off this evening with Euro 2024 taking centre stage but soon enough Paris 2024 will come into full view and who knows after the success of Rome, we may see another few Olympic medals come back to Ireland, a man can dream can’t he….

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