Kilgallon’s group in Tallaght hoping to make a return to major competition

By Stephen Leonard

ATHLETICS Ireland’s National Sprints Coordinator Daniel Kilgallon will be hoping a number of his elite group based in Tallaght AC will get the opportunity to compete at top international level this year.

Kilgallon, who joined Tallaght AC back in 2010, has been working with some of the top emerging sprinters in the country including Tallaght’s Rhasidat Adeleke and Joseph Ojewumi, and is now targeting the upcoming ‘micro meet’ in Abbotstown with qualification for next month’s European Indoor Athletics Championships in Poland a possibility for a number of his protégés.

TAC Sprinters 13 1

Timmy Bada, Eoin Doherty, Simon Essuman and Joseph Ojewumi

The micro meet has been scheduled for February 20/21 following the cancellation of the National Indoor Championships and will be open to Sport Ireland carded athletes as well as those on National Senior relay panels.

Kilgallon’s squad in Tallaght has seen a few changes in its make-up over recent months with double European Youth Olympic gold medallist over 100m and 200m Adeleke having taken up a scholarship in the University of Texas in Austin while Patience Jumbo-Gula is currently studying and training in the Netherlands.

“Patience and Rhasidat were very important and popular members of our training group” said Kilgallon.

“I look forward to following and supporting the next phase of their athletics journey from afar and I wish them both well in their new endeavours” he added.

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Rhasidat Adeleke is now with University of Texas in Austin

Some new additions have been made to the group with Donore Harriers sprinter Aoife Lynch and Maltese international Charlotte Wingfield coming on board, the latter a member of Raheny Shamrocks for her spell working here in Ireland.

They join a core group that includes Ojewumi, Eoin Doherty, Simon Essuman and Timmy Bada from Tallaght along with current Irish Youth 100m record holder Israel Olatunde from UCD and DSD pair Kate Doherty,, former National 60m Hurdles champion, and Mollie O’Reilly, 2016 World Junior athlete, who is back in full training following a long spell out through injury.

Both Ojewumi and Olatunde will get the opportunity to compete at this month’s micro meet given that they are part of the Senior National Relay team while Kate Doherty and Adeleke are sure to be invited too as members of the Ireland Senior 4x100m Relay squad.

Also on the radar for members of Kilgallon’s elite group will be the World Athletics Relay Championships set to take place in Poland in early May.

Ireland Women’s 4x100m Relay squad is made up of ten members with Adeleke, Jumbo-Gula and Doherty in contention to be part of the team that will be hoping to finish among the top eight teams and secure direct qualification for the Olympic Games.

Meanwhile Olatunde will also be keeping one eye on the European Under 20 Championships later in the year while Lynch will be hoping to secure her place in the European Under 23s and Wingfield will be aiming to represent Malta at her second Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer.

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