BY KIERAN McCARTHY
DARRAGH McElhinney put himself in the frame to be picked for Ireland for the European Junior Athletics Championships this summer by running another stunning PB last Saturday night.
The Glengarriff teenager (16) ran 3:48.05 in the 1500m at the IFAM meet in Belgium to beat his previous best of 3:49.32 to also run his second European qualifying time.
This puts the current West Cork Youth Sports Star in a great position to be picked for the championships by Athletics Ireland. They can select three athletes per event and Darragh (pictured right) is the only Irish athlete to currently meet the requirement of running faster than the qualifying time twice plus he has run the two fastest times. The deadline to achieve the qualifying standard is July 1st. Also, Darragh is currently ranked number three in the world and Europe over 1500m at U18 level.
Next up for the Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí student is the All-Ireland schools’ championships in Tullamore this Saturday as he targets the intermediate (I17) 1500m title.
Then it will be three weeks of training before a possible attempt to break John Treacy’s national outdoor U18 3000m record of 8:20.40 on June 24th. Darragh has already bettered this time indoors but he must run it outdoors to be officially recognised as an outdoor record. The Irish junior (U20) record is 8:04 and, all going well, Darragh could also aim for that.