North Sligo Athletic Club’s Christopher O Donnell underlined his growing international reputation at the European First League Team Athletics Championships in Norway last weekend.
Ireland finished in sixth position overall to retain their First League status and it was the young Sligo athlete O Donnell who was the best overall performer for the Irish team.
O’Donnell here retained his national senior 400 metres title and in Norway, he produced arguably his best run of the season to take silver medal behind world junior champion Jonathan Sacoor (Belgium) – a performance which and delivered a valuable 10 points to the Irish team. Indeed, the only other Irish athlete to gain such a high individual placing was Letterkenny man and team captain Mark English in the men’s 800 metres.
In a season that has been anything but plain sailing for the North Sligo athlete, his class on such a big stage shone through and signals a very bright future for the hugely committed young Irish man.
O’Donnell also anchored the Irish 4 x 400 relay team to victory on Sunday in what turned to be the most decisive event in determining the Irish team’s overall fate and helped ensure Ireland kept their place in Europe’s first tier of league competition.
Christopher will take great confidence from this performance in Norway as he now heads off for a much-needed training break, before he commits to another tough winter training programme with what will likely be a new coach and training regime.
Carrick AC team-mates Gerard O’Donnell and Eanna Madden also performed well for Ireland in Norway, reaching the finals of the 110 metres hurdles and 100 metres respectively.