Nadia Powers to Euro Under 23 podium in Euro U23s

By Stephen Leonard

TEMPLEOGUE’S Nadia Power battled her way to a brilliant bronze medal in the Women’s 800m at last weekend’s European Under 23 Athletics Championships in Gavle, Sweden.

Fulfilling her primary goal this year, the 21-year-old competitor clinched the final spot on the podium after finishing third behind British pair Jemma Reekie and Ellie Baker.

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Templeogue’s Nadia Power celebrates finishing third in the final of the Women's 800m at the European Under 23 Athletics Championships in Sweden and (right) with her bronze medal. (Photos by Giancarlo Colombo/Sportsfile)

“It was definitely a goal of mine to win a medal at the European Under 23s, but one that I kept a little quiet given how ambitious it was and my ranking and PB coming into the event” Power told The Echo.

“I would have liked to have a slightly faster time coming into the championships, but finding good races was hard and anyway I felt that a big performance could come on the day and it did thankfully” she said.

There was, however, no shortage of drama for the Templeogue woman who had been initially disqualified following the race after have made some slight contact with an opponent.

Yet Athletics Ireland immediately jumped to her defence and lodged an appeal that was upheld and saw her reinstated.

“I honestly didn’t know where it happened in the race” insisted Power. “It was only about 10 minutes after the race that an official came over to me and I could tell by the look on his face that it was not good news.

“I didn’t even watch the race back while they were appealing it because I was so anxious. It was a track referee who had seen it, so it wasn’t another country appealing to have me disqualified.

“The race had been so slow. It was the biggest race of the year for all of us. No one was willing to take the pace and everyone was on top of each other. It was a typical championship race.

“I’ve been at these types of races where I’ve been tripped and fallen so I’m well use to that, but this [the contact] was not much and thankfully it was overturned” she said.

Making the podium at this level was a massive boost for Power, who has been focusing more and more on her 800m, particularly this year.

“I’ve been running 1500m all my life, doing the odd 800m every year” she explained.

“But I had a real breakthrough 800m last year in the Belfast international meet where I went from a  2.09 PB to a 2.05, so that was a big jump.

“I really enjoyed that race and I’ve really enjoyed the 800m races since, but I want to keep my options open in the 1500m and hopefully improve on my PB [of 4.16:15] in that” she added.

Power will soon be turning her attention back to the domestic front with the National Champion-ships later this month, hoping to follow up on her superb European performance with another medal or two.

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