The extraordinary turn of events in Irish women's 800 metre running took another twist last evening as 25-year-old Síofra Cléirigh Buttner smashed the Irish indoor record set only last Wednesday by Nadia Power.
With the Irish team to travel to Poland next week for the European Indoor Athletics Championships due to be named later today, the selectors now have to factor the Dundrum South Dublin athlete into their plans as her time of 2 minutes 0.58 seconds was a substantial improvement on Power's 2.00.98 mark set in Torun.
Cléirigh Buttner was racing in the American Track League meeting at Fayetteville where she was second behind Heather Maclean of the USA in a close finish with victory only eluding the Irish woman by just .06 of a second as she closed hard on the lead near the finish line.
𝐀𝐦𝐞𝐫𝐢𝐜𝐚𝐧 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐤 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐠𝐮𝐞 𝟒— Arkansas Track & Field (@RazorbackTF) February 22, 2021
The 800m featured a facility record for Heather MacLean in 2:00.53, while runner-up Siofra Cleirigh Buttner broke the Irish national record with a 2:00.58.
Previous Tyson Center record 2:00.75 was set in 2005 by Nicole Cook (Tenn). pic.twitter.com/GiF8F6xLOt
The former Villanova University scholarship athlete moved to fourth in the European rankings as a result of her run in Arkansas with the championships just ten days away.
The performance also punctuated one of the most exceptional periods in the history of Irish women's Indoor 800 metre running.
In the last five days five different Irish athletes have posted the five fastest runs in the history of the indoor event in Ireland.
Four of those athletes - Cléirigh Buttner, Power, Georgie Hartigan and Louise Shanahan - are inside the top 20 of the World rankings, which is more than any other country in the top 20.