BY KIERAN McCARTHY
A TALENTED young Glengarriff athlete has been handed the opportunity of a lifetime after being selected as a training partner for Irish Olympic modern pentathlete Arthur Lanigan O’Keeffe.
Bantry AC runner Darragh McElhinney (15), a student at Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí, will fly out to Rio on July 31st ahead of the Olympics for two amazing weeks where he will join up with Team Ireland and help European champion Lanigan O’Keeffe’s preparations for the Games.
‘I can’t wait, I found out the day I finished my Junior Cert exams that I’d be going to Rio but I had to keep it a secret until it was all confirmed and flights were booked in the last few days,’ Darragh said.
‘I’m going out there to train with Arthur, he has five disciplines and all are different, and I will help him pace himself for his run. For the shorter runs over 800m, I will set the pace and he will follow, and then I’ll run with him on his longer runs as a training partner.’
McElhinney is also expected to be a run training partner for another Irish modern pentathlete Natalya Coyle, and this is an amazing opportunity for the young West Cork athlete, who will see what it takes to be an Olympian.
Last weekend, McElhinney showed his class with a stunning win for the Irish schools’ team in the 1,500m race at the SIAB Schools’ International Track and Field meeting in Ashford. Four runners were in contention in the last 50 metres but McElhinney came out on top in 4:07.15.