Travers in the shape of his life ahead of European Indoors

By Hayden Moore

DONORE Harriers star John Travers has insisted that his fitness is at an all-time high heading into the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Poland.

The 29-year-old shaved five-seconds off his 3000m PB at the Elite Micro Meet two-weeks-ago, which guaranteed his spot on the Irish team heading to Torun for the Europeans.

1893562 1

Drimnagh man John Travers is very pleased with his form heading into this week’s European Indoor Championships

“I’m physically as fit as I’ve ever been, I would even go as far as to say I’m in the shape of my life.

“Twelve athletes make it through to the finals at the Europeans and I know there is going to be some stiff competition over there, there’s no denying that.

“Some of it comes down to the luck of the draw as well, so if you run well in the heats, hopefully you can strike a bit of luck and get through to the finals.

“Ten years ago I would be looking at the European’s thinking that it would be nice to even be there. Now I’m going there to try and put myself in a position where I can compete in the finals.

“I’m not going out to make up the numbers.”

His 7:50.40 at the Elite Micro Meet was quicker than any of his 3k titles, the fastest of which was 8:00.96 in 2020, five seconds faster than his previous indoor PB and well inside the European qualifying standard of 7:58.50.

Speaking about the recent flurry of PBs and record-breaking performances of Irish athletes, Travers says: “You’re going to hear about the shoes and the spikes.”

“The new carbon-plates – sure I wasn’t wearing them for my last PB. They help, but I wouldn’t pay too much attention to it.

“In sporting terms, the Elite’s were going to be the end of the season.

“Nobody wanted that so you have everybody fighting to have another race, and the only way to do that was to qualify for the European’s.”

Looking for a silver lining in the COVID-19 pandemic, Travers has found that athletics has been a welcomed distraction – especially considering the loss of his coach Jerry Kiernan last month.

“I was questioning myself coming into the Elites. Physically I was fine, but mentally, I wasn’t too sure.

“My coach just says to me ‘don’t look at the splits or times’, just get in there and race. I was a bit shocked when I looked up and seen the time,” he added.

The 3000m event, in which Travers has dominated at home in recent years with three national titles in succession, is not a distance covered at the Olympics.

Travers has a PB of 13:28.86 in the 5000m race, which is just under four-seconds shy of the qualifying standard that was in place for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.

Last November, he had to settle for silver in the longer distance after being pipped to the top of the podium by Darragh McElhinney.

With Tokyo looming, and the qualifying standard now readjusted to 13:13.50 for the Games this summer in the 5k event, the Drimnagh man has his eyes on building towards the Olympic dream.

“I’m planning on taking a week off after [the Europeans] to give my body some time to recover because we have a month of building a base then for the outdoors. The last thing I’d want is to want a break in three-weeks because I’m starting to fatigue.

“So, I’m going to take a short break and then really hammer it to give myself the best chance because we have a very short time frame to reach qualification for the Olympics, there is only about a four-week window.

“I’m only really focusing on putting in a shift this week and I’m not setting my life on [the Olympics] but it would be nice to get there.”

By subscribing to The Echo you are supporting your local newspaper Click Here: Echo Online.

Prev “The main thing for me is that I don’t get ahead of myself”
Next Adamstown Cricket Club still enjoying growth despite new development being pushed back

  • Light House in Kilnamanagh gets decorated for Easter
  • Scrap yard fire Greenhills Road
  • A Happy St Patrick’s Day from Dublin Fire Brigade
  • Happy St Patrick's Day 2021
  • Food table in Tallaght

Will you watch the Harry and Meghan interview with Oprah?

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site, personalise content, provide social media features, analyse our traffic, show you relevant advertising and to target and report on ads. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes.