Phil Healy is the toast of Irish athletics today after breaking one of the country’s blue riband national records.
The Bandon AC athlete set a new women’s 100m national record of 11.28 seconds at the Dublin Championships in Santry, taking a large chunk off the long-standing Irish mark in the process.
The previous record of 11.40 had lasted eight years, set by Ailis McSweeney in Liege in 2010, equalled by Amy Foster in Florida four years ago.
Healy’s new standard took a full 0.21 seconds off her previous lifetime best of 11.49 from the 2014 Irish Track & Field Championships – and she followed it up within quarter of an hour by setting a new outdoors 400m PB of 52.63.
The Bandon AC athlete’s best legal time of the year had been 11.55 clocked in Belfast in April, though she had a wind-assisted 11.16 to her name at a “wind sprints” meet at the Waterford RSC organised by Club TLG last month – one of three occasions this year where she had gone faster than the Irish record, without a new record being set due to wind advantage.
Last night’s record was aided by a tailwind of +2.0 – the highest allowable under IAAF regulations – and puts her joint 12th in the European 100m lists for 2018.
Speaking to breakingnews.ie, the 23-year-old sprinter currently based at Waterford Institute of Technology felt “the signs were there for a quick time”, and that major work with coach Shane McCormack is coming to spectacular fruition.
Healy also feels it is a good boost for Ireland’s relays programme now that another generation is coming up, and will be taking in the Cork City Sports and Irish Nationals as part of a busy programme ahead of the European Athletics Championships in Berlin in August.
The Corkwoman provided one of the few high points for the Irish team at the World Indoors in Birmingham earlier this year by reaching the semi-finals of the 400 metres – one of three distances in which she excels – in the aftermath of being voted European Athlete of the Month for January.