Meath had its largest representative of athletes at the World Indoor Championship in Torun Poland with 8 Meath Athletes competing which includes Aoife Parrella and Phyllis Browne of Star of the Sea AC, Moira Groome and Edel Gaffney of Trim AC, Siobheal Murray of Ratoath AC, Michael Grace and Michael Cornyn of Dunboyne and Mick Priest of Fr. Murphy AC.
A brilliant start to the World Championships when Edel Gaffney took Silver in W35 Cross Country followed up 48 hours later with a great run in the 10k road race to the individual bronze medal. Her club mate Moira Groom finished the week on a high. After competing in her individual events, 60m and 200m, she was selected to run both the W55 Women’s 4x200m relay and the 4x200m mixed relay. Moira partnered with Carol Kearney, David Haye and Shane Sheridan in the mixed 4x200m relay and came away with a brilliant World Silver medal and a new Irish record. Then on the 4x200m ladies Moira ran a storming first leg to give Ireland a lead with Carol Kearney, Edel McGuire and Fionla Moore won World bronze.
Michael Grace from Dunboyne AC set 2 personal bests in Weight for Distance 12.35am and the Hammer with a distance of 44.16m in his first World Championships. Michael Cornyn finished 4th in the heat of the M60 800m in a time of 64 seconds but didn’t progress to the semi final.
In the M60 800m semi final Michael led from the gun in the 4th heat but was beaten in a sprint finish over the last 100m finishing 4th and missed making the World 800m final.
Michael was selected on the Irish M50 2x200m mixed relay and alongside Catherine Markey, Linda Nally and Ronan Gately set a new Irish record of 1 minute 57 seconds, but not good enough to medal Siobheal Murray who finished an agonising 4th earlier in the week in W55 high jump. She cleared 1m 36 but the bronze medal was won in 1m 40.
Mick Priest, having been injured prior to the Championship still toed the line on a very good Irish M70 4x200m team. A great run by Matthew Slattery, Joe Gough, Ken Higgs and Mick saw them smash the existing Irish record by over 9 seconds, but unfortunately they missed a medal finishing in 4th place.
Phyllis Browne had a strong run in the M70 Cross Country, but unfortunately had no other Irish athletes to make up a team. The Irish team had a tremendous Championship with a team of over 130 athletes claiming 75 World medals. With 88 countries competing Ireland at one stage during the week was topping the medal table and finished a magnificent 7th overall. They were actually tied for 6th place with Italy, but Italy had more gold medals. Irish Masters athletes are now ranked right up at the top of the world per head of population.
Only Poland, Germany, USA, Great Britain, and Spain won more medals at these Championships.