AFTER opening up in recent weeks about the health issues that have disrupted her training and race schedules, Phil Healy enjoyed being back in action on the big stage at the recent European Athletics Indoor Championships.
The Ballineen Bullet was part of the Irish women’s 4x400m relay team that finished fifth in the final.
With Sophie Becker, Sharlene Mawdsley and Cliodhna Manning running the opening three legs it was left to Healy to bring the Irish team home, but by the time she got the baton Ireland were in fifth place and out of medal contention.
The Bandon AC sprinter ran the second fastest split (53.37) of the four Irish athletes, with Sharlene Mawdsley’s second leg (51.15) the pick of the bunch. Healy just edged out Great Britain to fifth place, as the Irish quartet finished in 3:32.61.
The highly-fancied Netherlands (3:25.66, championship record) won gold, Italy (3:28.61, national record) were second with Poland (3:29.31) in third.
‘We went in ranked fifth so it was always going to be hard for us, but it would have been great to finish higher than we did or even run a quicker time,’ Healy told The Southern Star.
‘It wasn’t to be as it was very argy-bargy on the first leg, but that is the joys of indoor running.
‘I enjoyed being out there, being able to compete in that environment, it was less pressure. I did what I could, I pipped the Great Britain runner at the end, we were out of contention at that point, but it was good to be out there representing Ireland. We earned our place at the championships and at the end of the day it's fifth in Europe.’
Healy will now turn her attention to the outdoor season.