Ballineen bullet bows out of Worlds after finishing fifth in her 200m heat
COACH Shane McCormack hailed Phil Healy as a ‘warrior’ after the curtain came down on her 2019 season last Monday.
The Ballineen sprint star finished fifth, after clocking a time of 23.56, in her heat of the women’s 200m at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar, with only the top three advancing to the semi-finals.
‘It was a lot tougher than I thought, I was expecting a higher finish and a quicker time, but I’m really lucky to be in this position,’ explained Healy afterwards, in reference to her breaking a bone in her foot in April that threatened to derail her entire year.
‘The whole season hasn’t been the ideal set-up but I’m grateful to be out here competing against the world’s best.’ This was Healy’s first outdoor senior World Championships and even though she didn’t progress to the semi-finals, she was still keen to take the positives from the experience and the season.
‘It's a stark difference to say last year where it was breaking Irish record after breaking Irish record,’ she says. ‘It obviously wasn't an ideal preparation breaking a foot in April and then it has a knock-on for the whole season. Even I found the hardest part was actually learning how to run again, maybe from week six after the break.
‘It's just getting that momentum back, getting the performances out again and just getting back into the training and getting the blocks back-to-back.’
Healy set Irish records in the 100m and 200m last season and while she didn’t better those times this year, she’s in a very good place heading into an Olympic year in 2020, as she targets a place in Tokyo.
‘It is massive, we have certain points taken from this season and taken into next season and luckily I am lying in that ranking position at the moment – in the 30s of the 56,’ Healy explains. ‘It is about maintaining that, trying to get more points again, quicker times and to secure my place next year.’
Her proud coach Shane McCormack was full of praise for Ireland’s fastest ever woman, as he tweeted: ‘The season of seasons comes to an end in dusty Doha. 3 majors and a 5th met break and comeback. Phil Healy is a warrior and has done in one season some remarkable things that shouldn’t have been possible. Roll on 2020 for bigger things again!’