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Irish team well placed after day one in Santry

Updated: Saturday, 22 Jun 2013 22:54 | Comments

Brian Gregan claimed victory in his 400m race
Brian Gregan claimed victory in his 400m race

Team Ireland have put themselves in an excellent position from which to build on in after the opening day of the 2013 European Athletics Team Championships 1st League in Morton Stadium.

The Irish men's and women's team really rose to the challenge this afternoon and performed well under pressure and against top European competition.

The Irish team lies in sixth position of 12 teams, and will be eager to improve on their placing in tomorrow's final day. 

The Czech Republic top the standings on 195 points, with Romania second on 163 and Sweden just behind in third on 162.5 points.

Team Ireland may have only won one event this afternoon to take the top number of 12 points, but there were several impressive performances.  

Ireland's Brian Gregan won his 400m race in style, taking the top 12 points in a time of 46.32 in windy conditions as he stormed down the home straight well in control and crossed the line to take victory.

“It was so windy coming down the straight that I could have been walking, but I train here and I'm used to this weather”, a delighted Gregan said post-race.

In the straight sprint, Jason Smyth ran well to finish third in the men's 100m with a time of 10.78 seconds to take ten points. Fellow Ulster running Amy Foster also gave it everything and placed well in fifth position in 11.96 seconds for eight points.

Jason Harvey put in a solid effort in the 400m hurdles, an effort which may have deserved more than his fourth place and 8 points. Harvey's time of 51.86 wasn’t too far behind Rasmus Magi of Estonia who took the gold in 51.48.

Harvey reflected afterwards; "It was OK, it was a bit of a rough race, the wind was a nightmare. The last 100m was like running into a wall. It wasn’t an ideal race but I ended up fourth and that's not too bad."

800m specialist Laura Crowe stepped up in distance to compete in the 3,000m and produced a determined performance. Crowe finished in fourth place in a time of 9:19.04, earning Ireland nine points for her efforts. 

Tori Pena returned from the US and came close to winning the women's pole vault. Pena entered the competition at 4.14m, which she duly cleared at the first attempt, and followed up with another first time clearance at 4.30m, to earn her second place overall and a 11 team points.  

In the women's 800m, Roseanne Galligan finished strongly to claim fifth place and 8 points in a close finish in 2.04.26. Leading at the bell, Galligan fought all the way round the second lap and just missed out on fourth place on the line.

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