Athletics

Athletics Championships get go ahead but no crowds and no coaches to attend four day events

Leitrim Sport

Reporter:

Leitrim Sport

Email:

sport@leitrimobserver.ie

Athletics Ireland

With events falling by the wayside due to Covid-19 restrictions, Athletics Ireland have ensured that the longest running national track & field championships in the world will continue in 2020 with a four day programme that will only allow competitors and officials attend the event in Morton Stadium Dublin.

This year’s Irish Life Health National Track and Field Championships will have a strict limit of 200 people per session, and there will be no coaches, spectators or media allowed at any of the sessions, all of which will be streamed live on the Athletics Ireland Youtube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/AthleticsIRL/

RTÉ will also be broadcasting live from Morton Stadium from 5.30pm on Sunday August 23.

With Carrick AC's Gerard O'Donnell defending his 110m Hurdles title on Sunday week, August 30, Athletics Ireland have devised a four day programme with multiple sessions that will keep the event in line with guidelines issued by Sports Ireland.

Initially, the programme was designed to meet the 200 person limit on attendances at outdoor events but even with the news that all spectators were to be banned from all sporting events, the event can still go ahead under strict conditions.

Among the Leitrim athletes in action this weekend are young Carrick-on-Shannon AC sprint duo Alannah McGuinness and Toyosi Fagbo on Sunday with clubmate Cathal McElgunn down for the 400m on Saturday.

Announcing the news, Athletics Ireland CEO Hamish Adams said "The senior championships are the highlight of our track and field year and it’s certainly been a priority to get them across the line. The demand from athletes for competition is huge, and with a record entry we owe it to them to put on a top-class event and do everything we can to promote the sport.

“There has been a huge amount of work that has gone on behind the scenes and we owe much thanks to all those involved in getting us to this stage. A special word of thanks to our sponsor Irish Life Health for their continued and unwavering support of our championships. I look forward to what promises to be another great weekend of athletics and best of luck to all those competing."

Liz Rowen, Head of Marketing at Irish Life Health is looking forward to seeing the best Irish athletes competing in what is the longest unbroken run of any athletics championships anywhere in the world: "We’re delighted to sponsor this historic National Track and Field Championships and are thankful that all the hard work behind the scenes has paid off, allowing athletes who have trained all year the chance to compete.

"The schedule will be new to us all this year, however we have no doubt that the performances from our athletes will excite us more than ever. The team at Irish Life Health would like to wish all athletes and their coaches the best of luck, and say a big thank you to officials and volunteers who have made these championships possible.”

The full timetable is as follows: