Fresh from his surprise triumph in the National Championships, Carrick-on-Shannon AC’s Gerard O’Donnell made another major breakthrough on Wednesday in France when he set a new personal best that moves him to eighth on the all-time Irish list.
Competing in Castres in France on Wednesday, O’Donnell twice set new personal bests with his second race moving him to eighth place on the Irish all-time list in a race that included 2005 World 110m Hurdles Champion and twice European Indoor 60m Hurdles champion Ladji Doucoure of France.
Doucoure won both races, the first in a time of 13.38 with the Carrick runner fourth in a time of 14.53 which was a new pb. However, O’Donnell surpassed that time with 14.32 in a second race to move him to eighth in the Irish all-time list, with only five Irishmen ever going below the 14 second barrier as Peter Coghlan tops the rankings with 13.30.
O’Donnell will race again on Saturday in Ninove in Belgium on Saturday to bring his season to a close as he attempts to reduce his best once more.
His performance makes him just the third Leitrim athlete to be ranked in an top ten all-time Irish performances, joining Olympians Colin Griffin and Laura Reynolds.
Laura has two third place rankings in the 10Km walk (44.50) and 20Km (1.31.02) as well as an eighth place ranking over 5Km (23.33.53). Colin is ranked third over the 50Km distance (3.51.32) and 10Km (39.51.85), fourth over both the 3Km (11.19.7) and 20Km (1.23.53) as well as seventh over 5Km (19.36.42) in an indoor race.
Colin is joined in the all-time rankings by his mother Patricia and brother Ronan - Patricia is ranked 27th over 10Km (34.28.00), 41st in the marathon (2.41.56), 47th in the 5K (16.27.90) and 57th over 3K (9.25.37) while Ronan is ranked 46th over the 10Km Walk (48.58.91).
Ballinamore AC’s Eddie Leddy is the next highest ranked with his 8.33.2 steeplechase seeing him ranked fifth while he is ranked 21st over 10Km (28.32.8), 34th over 5Km (13.40.54) and 58th in the marathon (2.18.26). Eddie is joined by his niece Noleen who is ranked 28th in the 10Km walk with 58.14.
Carrick AC’s Eanna Madden is also a recent addition to the Irish all-time lists, his 21.42 ranking him 29th over 200m and 10.77 42nd over 100m.