Killarney native and An Ríocht Athletic Club member Denis Finnegan was back at club headquarters in Castleisland on Saturday afternoon for a special presentation to mark his most recent, high profile achievements.
Only last week, competing in the triple jump, he helped Ireland to retain its European League One status at the European Team Championships in Norway.
Career as a Juvenile
“Denis Finnegan began his athletics career mainly as a juvenile sprinter and jumper with Spa Muckross AC in Killarney,” said An Ríocht AC founder member, Denny McSweeney while setting out his fellow club member’s remarkable career path.
“Denis establish himself as an excellent 400 metre hurdler and represented Ireland in that event at the 2003 European Youth Olympics.
Move to Cork
“Having moved to Cork to study pharmacy in UCC he joined the university club and would wear their singlet with the famous skull and cross bones until he joined An Riocht after completing his studies.
“However, it was while in Cork that Denis began to concentrate solely on the triple jump and he won his first National senior title in 2007 and retained it the following year.
Most Successful Kerry Athlete
“His next national title came in 2012 which began a dominance which resulted in him winning his eighth title in a row this year and his 10th in all.
“This achievement makes Denis the most successful Kerry track and field athlete in history.
“He has been consistently jumping over 15 metres and has a personal best of 15.58 which puts him fourth on the Irish all time list.
Based in Melbourne
“These days Denis is based in Melbourne but returns every year to compete in the nationals and represent his country at international events.
“He is a true Kerry sporting great and we at An Ríocht are glad of the opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of one of our members,” said Mr. McSweeney.