JOAN Healy is hoping to take her sensational indoor speed into the outdoor season.
The Ballineen sprinter (27) won a silver medal in the women’s 60m and gold in the women’s 4x200m relay at the Irish Life Health National Indoor Athletics Championships on Sunday.
Joan has been incredibly fast and consistent in this indoor season and was one of the main contenders for gold in the women’s 60m. In Sunday’s semi-final, the Leevale AC athlete ran a superb 7.31 to win and shoot into the final. That equalled her PB that she also ran back in January. In the lead up to the nationals, Joan ran consistently in the 7.3s.
In the final, Ciara Neville of Emerald AC in Limerick was always going to be Joan’s main opponent, despite her younger sister, Phil Healy, fresh from winning the 200m title the previous day, dropping down for a rare appearance at 60m.
At the recent AIT Grand Prix in Athlone, Neville beat Joan by 0.01 of a second, so there’s little between the two.
On Sunday, Neville in lane six just edged out Joan, in lane five, by 0.03 of a second in a brilliant race, as the winner recorded a 7.30 which equalled the national U23 record while Joan finished in 7.33 to earn silver. Phil was third, in bronze, with 7.36.
Rewind 12 months ago and Joan finished fourth in the 60m, and outside the medals, at the national indoors, so this was a big improvement and another impressively fast time.
‘I have a week off and then it’s back onto a big block of training for the outdoor season. It’s just important to capitalise on the speed I have now and bring it to the 100m,’ explained Joan, who will look to transfer that 60m indoor speed into the 100m outdoors.
‘It is only 40 metres extra but that last 40 metres is quite difficult, especially if you have come off a fast indoor season because the faster you run the quicker you are going to decelerate.
‘We will have to go up in the distance in training, try to build the speed endurance and hopefully that will translate over to 100 metres.’
Also on Sunday, Joan was part of the Leevale AC 4x 200m team that won gold in 1:42.26, just ahead of Dublin City Harriers AC.