PHIL Healy’s lightning fast feet have barely touched the ground this week.
The Bandon AC star is coming off the back of a superb showing at the European Indoor Championships in Poland that has elevated her status as one of the fastest athletes in Europe.
In the women’s 400m final last Saturday night Healy finished just outside the medals but her fourth place saw her produce a new PB of 51.94 and confirm that she’s good enough to mix it with the very best.
It was also the first time the Ballineen bullet (26) made it through to a final at a major championships.
‘I’m on an absolute high from the whole thing, I’m still buzzing. To come away with fourth, yes it’s so close to a medal but it may as well have been a medal for me. I ran the quickest time I’ve ever ran, running a PB in the final,’ Healy told this week’s Star Sport Podcast.
‘The final was a messy race. I ran the second lap in lane two and the last 50 metres in lane four so I gave myself extra work, so to come out with a PB after my third race in 36 hours, I’m absolutely buzzing.
‘I gave it everything. Even coming through the media zone after – because you’re whipped off straightaway and put in front of the media – I was looking for the nearest bin because I just needed to get sick! They had to give me a black bag to walk through the rest of the media zone in case I got sick again.
‘For me, that’s my medal because I know that I gave it everything, there was nothing more than I could have done in that race.’
Healy more than held her own in a world-class field that included the winner Femke Bol of the Netherlands, and and another Dutch athlete Lieke Klaver, Justyna Swiety-Ersetic from Pokand, Great Britain’s Jodie Williams and Romanian Andrea Miklos.
‘The girl who came fifth, Lieke Klaver, she’s ranked number two in Europe, she has run 51 (seconds) all season long so to finish ahead of her is a massive achievement. It’s just great to see that it was so close and that I am in that territory with all of them,’ Healy says.
‘I messed up Glasgow two years ago, in the 2019 European Indoors, and I didn’t want to be a serial semi-finalist, just making it to the semis and then bowing out, and not executing properly.
‘You can play the race over a million times but when you are in it you have to think on your feet.
‘Looking back, to be with all those girls, the top two have medalled at world championships before, and to run a PB in a world-class field is a great boost.
‘It was the quickest European (women’s 400m) final in a long time. My 51.94 would have medalled at the last five European Indoors.
‘People were coming up to me after and they were afraid to see if I was disappointed or not, but I couldn’t be happier. It will be a massive boost.
‘I saw an article from David Gillick where he said I didn’t lose third, I won fourth, and that is a medal for me. Cathal Dennehy had an article before the race saying I had to have the race of my life. Enough people have doubted me along the way and I produced the race of my life. I gave it everything and I have to walk off the track happy.’