With the Olympic Games just over one week away it is appropriate to list those Waterfordians who have represented Ireland in athletics at the Olympic Games since the modern games began in 1896 in athletics.
While not born in Waterford, Peter O’Connor spent most of his life here and has to be mentioned as the first Olympian from Waterford in 1906. He won the triple jump and finished second in the long jump.
Theo Phelan from Ferrybank was the second Olympian and that was in 1928 in the triple jump but failed to make the final.
Then came John Treacy in 1980 and he was also in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 Olympics.
He, of course, won the silver medal in the Marathon in 1984 and was 9th in the 10,000 metres.
He also finished 7th in the 5,000m final of 1980.
Waterford’s first female Olympian was Patricia Walsh in 1984 and she finished 9th in the discus final.
Brendan Quinn in 1988 reached the semi-final of the 3,000 steeplechase.
Susan Smith competed in two Olympics. In 1996 she reached the 400m hurdles semi-final finishing 5th just missing out on the final. In 2000 also in the 400m hurdles she was eliminated in the heats.
Then came Jamie Costin in 2000 in the 50km walk where he finished 38th.
He was selected again for the 50km walk in 2004 but at the venue in Athens the day before his race he had an horrific car crash that at first was thought would end his career. But he overcame the terrible accident and got back in training two years later and has made the Olympics again this year in the 50km walk.
In every Olympics since 1980 there have been Waterford athletes on the Irish team right up to 2008.
Ballymacarbry Five Miles
The Annual Ballymacarbry Five Miles Road Race, another in the Ger Wyley Sports Summer Series is on this Friday august 1st with a 7.30pm start.
Entries from 6pm at the venue which is on the main Dungarvan/Clonmel Road.
This weekend Kelly Proper competes in the long jump and 200m in Amsterdam.
Joe at Europeans
On Friday Joe Gough West Waterford AC competes in the European over-55 800m heats in Ljublijana, Slovenia and having seen the list of his competitors Joe should make the final of the event which takes place on Saturday and figure prominently in that final. A total of 29 athletes are entered for the event.
Celtic International Meeting
On Saturday in Grangemouth in Scotland the Annual Celtic Juvenile International Track & Field fixture will have a number of athletes from Waterford clubs on the Irish team.
West Waterford AC have three athletes – Zoe Scanlon discus, Kate Veale walk and Thomas Houlihan Pole vault.
For Ferrybank AC, Beth Walsh is in the 1500m and Nicola Power in the long jump. KCK will be represented by Laura Behan in the 3,000m, Fiona Dennehy, St.Senans is in the walk and John McGrath WWAC is team manager.
All Ireland Masters
On Sunday August 10th the All Ireland Masters Track & Field Championships are in Tullamore.
The same weekend the All Ireland Juvenile Combined Events are in Santry Stadium on the Sunday the All Ireland “B” Juvenile Championships are also at the same venue.
Kelly Second in Dublin
At the Morton Memorial Invitation meeting on Friday last in Santry, Kelly Proper finished second in the 100m in 11.80 seconds. The race was won by Canadian athlete Tayin Olupona in 11.64 secs. Niamh Whelan was fifth in the same race in 12.00secs.
On Saturday, Kelly, along with a number of other Ferrybank AC athletes competed in Belgium. She finished third in the long jump with 6.25 metres and was fourth in the 200m in 23.69secs, which qualifies her for the European U-23 Championships next year.
In graded races in Balgium also, Kevin Cooper won his 1500m race in 3.55.30secs a p.b. and in another 1500m Shane Quinn was third in 3.55.54 secs. Gary Downey was 8th behind Cooper.
National Half Marathon
Sunday September 7th is the date for the 2008 National Half Marathon and it is in Waterford City. All the activity will be centred around the RSC where the event starts and ends.
Entry forms online at Athletics Ireland and Waterford AC websites from July 29th. The big race has an 11am start.
10k Annual Event
The following Sunday September 14th at 12 noon the Annual Munster Express Caulfields Supervalu Run is also from the RSC in the city.
On Friday August 8th at 7.30pm there is a 5 Miles Road Race in Carrick-on-Suir. Entries at the venue from 6pm. Contact 087-2394720.