Kerry athletes competed at the European Masters Indoor Athletics Championship in Madrid in the run up to the weekend from March 19th – 24th.
On day one of the championships Ireland got its first gold medal courtesy of Kerry’s very own Jim O’Shea of Farranfore Maine Valley AC.
Jim was competing in the M75 long jump, his first jump of four meters was good enough to insure his gold medal. He has been a regularly competitor at world and European events and these championships were his crowning glory.
Winning Medals for Ireland
On the final day of the championship Kerry athletes were again winning medals for Ireland.
James Doran, who was competing in his first Masters Championship, went in the M35 5km Cross Country.
The Brosna native and An Riocht AC athlete was the third scoring member of the silver medal winning Irish team.
He was placed 14th overall with the other Irish scorers placed in 12th and 15th.
More Medals for Kerry
More medals came to Kerry and Ireland when with two athletes in the Irish 4x200m M35 relay team.
Colm Lynch of Iveragh AC was on leg two, Colm made up great ground to put Ireland just behind in fourth place when he handed over the baton to fellow Kerry athlete Ger Cremin of An Riocht AC. Ger handed over to the final leg runner to put Ireland in fourth place.
On the final leg it looked like Ireland had missed out on a medal when they crossed the line in fourth place.
Nail Biting Five Minutes
But a nail biting five minutes wait for the official results, showed Ireland had been moved up into the bronze medal as France had exchanged the baton outside the change over zone twice over the four legs.
The two Kerry athletes were joined on the relay team by Glen Scullion of Tyrone and Simon Everard on Tipperary.
Joyous Round of Applause
The Irish supporters broke into a joyous round of applause, as not only had they seen another medal for Ireland but also a national record of 1:37:01
It was a great week for Kerry athletes and athletics as they landed gold, silver and double bronze for their county and country and they placed Ireland in eleventh position on the medals table.
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