Saidhbhe third in Glasgow
Saidhbhe Byrne placed an impressive third at the Scottish indoor combined events championship last weekend. The setting was the fabulous Emirates Arena in Glasgow.
Saidhbhe, competing in the five events of the indoor pentathlon (Under-13), was unfazed by the occasion and, if anything, reacted positively to the pressure of participating at such a highly-competitive level.
She achieved a P.B. in the high jump (1.41m) and another in the 800m (2.44.96). Not content with this, she went on to nab another P.B., along with a championship best performance, in the 2.42 kg. shot putt (7.99m).
Indeed, both Saidhbhe and the girls in second and third were inside a C.B.P. which had stood since 2009. A fourth placing in the long jump and a fifth in the 60m hurdles were enough to secure the bronze for the Enniscorthy girl.
Saidhbhe has been turning heads with her ever-improving form. Last year she made something of a breakthrough, making the podium at provincial level in a handful of events, bagging an Ulster combined events medal and qualifying for five national finals.
Saidhbhe started 2017 with the wind in her sails. First there was a second place finish in the Munster combined events. She followed this with a third place at the All-Ireland combined events. Then in February she won two individual silver medals at the Leinster indoors.
This month she is looking forward to competing in the 60m hurdles and the long jump at the national indoors. That this versatile and talented young lady also finds time to play football for club and county says something for her all-round athletic abilities.
Under the guidance of coaches Terence Mahon, Pat Carty and high jump specialist Nicky Cowman, Saidhbhe is developing into a multi-events athlete of substance. We have no reason to doubt her ability to follow in the footsteps of any one of her top role-models: Dervla O Rourke, Thomas Barr and Jessica Ennis-Hill.
At last weekend's Irish Life Masters indoor championships in Athlone there were wins at 1,500m for both Jackie Carthy (Kilmore) and Niall Sheil (St. Killian's).
D.M.P. athlete Antoinette Stafford won gold in the 200m while Siobhán Doyle of Menapians was thrilled to be crowned national champion over 60m. United Striders came away with four bronze medals courtesy of Gavin Kelly (200m), Sonya Byrne (800m), John McGrath (800m) and Ted Flannelly (3k).
Diary: March 11, Irish Life Health All-Ireland schools cross-country, Newtownabbey; March 19, Athletics Wexford Novice road races, 3k and 6k (11 a.m.), hosted by Slaney Olympic; March 25, Irish Life Health national Juvenile indoor championships day one, Athlone; March 26, Irish Life Health national Juvenile indoor championships day two, Athlone; April 1, Irish Life Health national Juvenile indoor championships day three, Athlone; April 2, Athletics Wexford Intermediate road races, 4k and 8k (11 a.m.), hosted by Croghan A.C.