Bantry AC star now tops European U20 3000m and 5000m rankings
BY KIERAN McCARTHY
DARRAGH McElhinney is hitting top speed at the right time ahead of the European U20 Championships in Sweden later this month.
The Glengarriff teenager, who just sat his Leaving Cert exams, was in record-breaking form again on Saturday night when he smashed the Irish junior 3000m record at the British Milers Club meeting in Watford.
McElhinney turned on the style with a stunning run of 8:01.48 to take three seconds off the previous record set by Mark Christie in 2004. His senior rivals couldn’t keep pace with McElhinney and on the final lap he produced a powerful kick to sprint to an impressive win that also took 12 seconds off his previous personal best.
This means that the 18-year-old West Cork athlete now tops the European U20 rankings over both 3000m and 5000m ahead of the Europeans this month.
In May McElhinney hit the headlines again when he became the first Irish teenager ever to run under 14 minutes for 5000m. He ran 13:54.10 when he finished second in a race at the IFAM meet in Oordegem, Belgium.
At the European U20s, he will compete in the 5000m and it’s an event that he has had in his sights for a long time. In current form, McElhinney will be one of Ireland’s top medal prospects.