Tonosa digs deep to capture National title

DSD Athletic Club saw their own Hiko Tonosa produce the most tenacious performance to win the 5000m at the National Senior Track & Field Championships in Santry on Sunday.

A large field of 17 athletes qualified from the previous day for the final with Tonosa drawn on the inside of the line-up.

Tonosa digs deep DSD AC

Hiko Haso Tonosa of DSD celebrates winning the National Senior Men's 5000m in Santry

He got away quite well, but, as the charge for the inside lane began, he was spiked quite badly, with his shoe slipping off his foot, forcing him to give away almost 50 metres as he hopped on one foot while replacing his footwear. 

Still he refused to panic and gradually worked his way back up to the leading bunch after four laps and settling back into the rhythm of the race. 

Last year’s champion Ryan Forsyth made a big move at the bell for the final lap, but Tonosa followed and produced an explosive thrust as they entered the closing 100m, forging 20m clear from a top-class field. 

Having now won the National 10,000m on the road and achieved his Refugee Status, the DSD star is looking forward to donning the Irish vest in possibly European and Olympic competition.

His clubmate Paul O’Donnell, who took the lead heading into the last three laps, was rewarded with a silver medal in the Under 23 category.

Siofra Cleirigh Buttner fought a gallant fight in the Women’s 1500m, where she was overtaken on the closing lap by Sarah Healy of Blackrock AC, the 18-year-old surging to her first national senior title.

Former Chairman of DSD, John Eves, finished sixth in a tough 10,000m in a time of 31.02.78, after which he was followed home in 14th place by Emmet Jennings in 32.28.60 while Meghan Ryan ran her best 5000m race to date, finishing fourth in a time of 17.17.69.

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