THE European Indoors didn’t go to plan for Joan Healy, but she feels she’s in a strong place heading into her next challenge: helping the Irish women’s 4x100m relay team qualify for the Olympic Games
Last Sunday morning Joan finished a disappointing eighth in her 60m heat at the European Indoors in Torun. She had expected a better performance and was targeting a semi-final spot, but the Ballineen woman’s 7.46, well outside her PB of 7.31, saw her exit the competition earlier than she had hoped.
Joan was coming off the back of an injury-disrupted winter and had only one race under her belt before last weekend, and that worked against her.
‘I know I opened up with 7.4 in the Micro Meet last month but I still felt there was better in there,’ Joan explains.
‘I felt really good on Sunday. Warming up I felt way better than I had felt warming up at the Micro Meet. I did feel there was a good time in there, but it didn’t happen.
‘I know I got back onto the track in January, having been injured during the winter, but that time on the track I missed in October, November and December, it’s hard to replicate that, and in the 60 metres you don’t have the time to make up for the lack of work.
‘I’ve a good few weeks put under my belt now, I’m much stronger even though I know that didn’t show last weekend. Hopefully the endurance that I gained on the watt bike before Christmas and that fitness will transfer over to the 100 metres and I’ll produce a good time in the outdoors.’
The World Athletic Relays in Poland at the start of May are now Joan’s main target as she is part of the Ireland 4x100m relay team that wants to get to the Games in Tokyo this summer.
‘The primary focus now is to get the team qualified for the Olympics,’ she says.
‘I will be back training this weekend because we have our first squad session at the end of March. From then on we will be meeting up as a group every weekend ahead of the World Relays in May,’ she explains.
‘I will sit down this week with my coach, we will put a plan in place for the 100 metres, and we will push on. We have the world relays and after that it will be looking at my own races, including the national championships in June.’