At Knocknarea Arena Sligo on Thursday evening an excellent crowd gathered around the track to support Mary Cullen in her bid to achieve the Olympic 5,000m qualifying time. It was the final race in an evening of paced 5ks, 1,500 metres and relay events.
British International, Helen Clitheroe set the pace and at 3,000 – 9:14 – they were just about on target for the qualifying time 15:24. However, though Mary then hit the front she narrowly missed out. She’ll have another chance possibly at the European Championships in Amsterdam before the cut off date on July 11.
John Byrne was our man on track for one of the paced 5,000 metres and he came home in an excellent 15:47.
Well done to Dermot McDermott and Thomas McBride for staging and promoting a wonderful evening of athletics in Sligo. The weather was showery but it did not dampen the brilliant atmosphere.