PHIL Healy has been named in the Irish mixed 4x400m relay team that is gunning for Olympic qualification at the World Athletics Relays in Silesia, Poland early next month.
But while Phil is planning ahead for these championships, her older sister Joan, who had been named in the Irish women’s 4x100m squad for the World Relays, has had to pull out because an Achilles injury has flared up again and she is unable to compete.
This is a big blow for Joan who had been targeting Olympic qualification with the women’s 4x100m relay team, as a top-eight finish at the World Athletics Relays for either of these two Ireland squads guarantees qualification for the Tokyo Games in the summer.
Instead, Joan could also miss the summer season as she doesn’t know when she will get back on track from this injury while she also missed a big chunk of winter training because of injury too. She had been due to take part in a mini training camp in Dublin with the Irish 4x100m relay squad before the team flies out to Poland on April 29th.
Meanwhile, Phil is already on course to qualify in the women’s 200 metres as she sits high in the rankings while she is also eyeing up the possibility of trying to qualify in the women’s 400 metres too. Her impressive fourth-place 400m performance at the recent European Indoor Championships was a boost to her ranking points.
Also, a top-ten finish in the women's 4x100m or a top-12 finish in the mixed 4x400m at the World Athletics Relays would ensure qualification for the World Athletics Championships Oregon 2022.
The Irish mixed 4x400m relay team includes Phil Healy (Bandon AC), Sophie Becker (Raheny Shamrocks AC), Sharlene Mawdsley (Newport AC), Chris O'Donnell (North Sligo AC), Thomas Barr (Ferrybank AC) and Andrew Mellon (Crusaders AC).