Thornton still targeting Rio improvement

Galway athlete Gary Thornton suffered disappointment in the weekend's Prague marathon, failing to improve his Rio qualification time.

Thornton, although already qualified, but fifth on the list of an expected three-man team, had to withdraw at the 20k mark.

Now he will be putting his efforts into preparing for the European championships half marathon in July in the hopes of claiming another Irish vest. The Shantalla man has clocked up thousands of miles a year over the past 20 years in the colours of GCH.

At home, the second Galway 5k series race of 2016 was hosted by Craughwell AC on Tuesday night in perfect conditions. The fast downhill course saw most athletes post huge time improvements over week one in Ballybrit. The talented John Greaney of GCH clocked a fast 16:12, just ahead of teammate, veteran Owen Byrne, who really put it up to his younger rival, running 16:21. Brian Furey of Rathfarnham was just behind in third in 16:24.

Regina Casey of GCH remains the woman to beat over the 5k distance, taking a clear-cut victory in 17:36 in her season debut over the short distance, with Barbara Dunne, also GCH, taking second 18:18, Grainne Ni Uallachain with 18:36, and the ever improving Niamh Hennelly finishing in 18.38, providing a great battle for third and fourth. Shauna Bocquet of Craughwell AC took the wheelchair race with a time of 16:41.

The Irish Milers Club meet in Belfast on Saturday with Keith Fallon of GCH continuing his great start to the outdoor track season. He ran a personal best time of 8.25 in the 3000m, another solid performance as he builds towards the National Championships in June.

Galway Juvenile Track and Field Championships

Day two of the champiosnhips will be held this Sunday from 10am in Dangan, with the U13-19 juvenile competitions taking centre stage, along with some adult championships events.

Day one for U8 to U12 attracted some 500 children, with Tuam’s rapid growth proving one of the success stories of the day, and new club Caltra and District AC also impressing.

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