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Bandon AC star Healy relieved to ‘salvage’ her Europeans with Ireland 4x400m relay heroics

August 29th, 2022 3:30 PM

By Kieran McCarthy

The Irish women's 4x400m relay team of Sharlene Mawdsley, Sophie Becker, Phil Healy and Rhasidat Adeleke finished sixth in the recent European final.

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PHIL Healy is at a loss to explain what went wrong in her 400m heat at the European Championships, but is glad she got the chance to redeem herself with the Irish 4x400m women’s relay team.

The Ballineen Bullet was uncharacteristically off form when she failed to get through her 400m heat, to the extent that Healy was worried she’d lose her starting spot on the relay team.

She had enough credit in the bank though and ran the second leg in the relay semi-final in Munich, posting the second fastest split of the Irish team that also included Sophie Becker, Rhasidat Adeleke and Sharlene Mawdsley.

They finished a brilliant second and also smashed the Irish record with a 3:26.06 performance.

Redemption for Healy. 

‘I have no answer for that individual run,’ Healy told The Southern Star.

‘We didn’t see the signs of that in training. When I got Covid before the World Indoors in March, I then got sick after that. We lost a lot of consistency in training, and training is built on consistency. One day would be good, the next day wouldn’t be great. That was certainly an off-day in Munich. It was a shocking performance. It was my worst performance in a long time. I don’t have the answers for it, only that I had lost a lot of consistency and maybe my body just gave up that little bit.

‘After the race I knew we had massive depth in the relay squad so I didn't know whether I was going to keep my place in the team. I was given the chance. I came out, ran a 51.7 split so it showed I was capable of it and that I was in shape. It was great to come out and almost salvage my championships, and give my all to the team.’

 

The Irish women’s relay team then finished sixth in the European 4x400m final, and Healy believes this squad has huge potential. The Paris Games in 2024 must be a target, she insists.

‘This is the team that people always wanted to see together’ Healy says.

‘Yes, we did the 4x400m mixed relay at the Olympics last year, but we showed that we have a strong enough group of women to compete on this stage. We have the depth of women now. Obviously it’s majorly helped by the talent of Rhasidat, but we need six people to come together in this group.

‘The Worlds next year is a target, but Paris in 2024 has to be the aim. We went to World Indoors in March where we finished seventh and the top six went to the final. It was disappointing that we didn’t get to the final, but it shows we have potential both indoors and outdoors. This team should be performing at the international level over the next few years. 

‘People need to realise too that relays are our tickets to the major championships. There were six athletes part of our team in Munich – three went individually and three were part of the relay team. If we didn’t have the team they would have been sitting at home. It’s the same for Paris, with standards increasing, we need to work together.’

Healy’s plan now is to unwind at home in West Cork for the next month and let her body settle after a busy year, indoor and outdoor, that was punctured by Covid. Rest, recover and come back stronger for the winter training block.

 

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