DSD Masters Athletes shine in Poland
Returning from Toruń, Poland, Ronan Gately reports on the DSD Masters athletes who donned their respective national colours and competed at the World Indoor Masters Athletics Championships ... and brought a load of medals back! A total of 6 DSD Masters athletes travelled to Toruń, Poland for the 9th World Indoor Masters Athletics Championships which took place from 26th March to 1st April 2023. With a total of 135 Irish athletes competing, they were part of the largest ever Irish Masters Athletics Team to travel to an International event. Team Ireland won a total of 75 medals (28 Gold, 23 Silver and 24 Bronze) finishing up a lofty 7th on the overall medal table ( best ever performance by an Irish Team ) out of total 88 countries (>4k athletes) competing. The DSD athletes returned with 4 medals – 2 Gold and 2 Silver. Avril Dillon W40 was in scintillating form and won Gold in the 60m in 7.81 secs (having run a blistering 7.70 secs in semi-final). In doing so she beat some exceptional athletes from Germany, GB, Canada and elsewhere. Avril was very unlucky not to add another Gold in her favoured event the 60m Hurdles as she was the clear favourite coming into the event with a superb 8.68 seconds time recorded at the Leinster Masters on 11th March 2023 (a W40 World Record, subject to ratification) but got injured in the final minutes of her warm-up. Adina Gheorghiu W45 running for Romania also won Gold in the 200m in a stunning 25.89 seconds, a full 0.57 secs ahead of her nearest rival. Adina also won Silver in the Mixed 35 age Group 4x200m Relay, dropping down 2 age categories to help out her younger Romanian team-mates. Adina was also a very close 4th in the 60m final just 4/ 100ths of a second off Bronze. Shane Sheridan M60 (and at top of his age category at age 64) won Silver in the Mixed 55 age Group 4x200m Relay (setting a new Irish record), where he dropped an age category to help out his younger Irish team-mates. This was an outstanding achievement by Shane (a former World Indoor silver medallist) considering he had reached the semi-finals in both the 60m and 200m earlier in the week and had back surgery only a number of years previously. Other DSD athletes to compete were: Lucy Moore W65 6.84m in Triple Jump (just 28 cms off Bronze) placing 6th overall, while setting a new Irish record. 7.20m in Shot Put placing 15th overall 10.78m in Weight Throw placing 11th overall, also getting another Irish record 24.53m in Hammer placing 11th overall, and yet another Irish record! Kevin Byrne M50 Pentathlon – unfortunately Kevin got injured during warm-up but battled gamely to finish both the 60m Hurdles before having to withdraw from the remaining 4 events in the Pentathlon. Pole Vault – due to Kevin’s injury he was not in a position to hit his customary 3.30m-3.40m mark on this occasion. Ronan Gately M50 200m – 27.95 seconds somewhat off his season’s best of 27.11 but a hugely enjoyable experience for him nonetheless. 4x200m Mixed Relay 50 age Group - finishing 11th of 14 teams and setting new Irish record. Congratulations to Ronan and the DSD Masters who did their Club proud! We have nice shiney medals to show for their work!