Search icon


22nd Jul 2017

It’s GOLD for Ireland! The country has a brand-new 100m sprint superstar

What a run!

Patrick McCarry

“Ireland don’t get many sprint medals… “

Something of an understatement, arguably. Yes, we’re all about middle distances in this fair isle… but that could all be about to change.

It was 38 years since Ireland had two sprinters in a 100-metre European Championships final but Gina Akpe-Moses and Ciara Neville ended that streak then went on one of their own.

Neville had a fine run but it was nothing compared to Dublin sprinter Akpe-Moses, who pipped Keshia Kwadwo of Germany to the gold medal at the European Athletics U20 Championships.

Running into the wind, Akpe-Moses raced home in 11.71, which was 0.15 shy of a season best she ran back in May. It was enough for gold, though. More than enough.

The 18-year-old broke down in tears after realising her stunning run was the best of the lot. Neville was the first to congratulate her on a fantastic performance. She told Athletics Weekly:

“It was amazing and I’m so excited.

“I hoped to get a medal, and eventually the dream came true. In the semi-finals I started thinking I could jump on the podium, but only in the last 20m of the final I had the thought ‘I can get the gold medal’.”

Not to get too carried away but…. bring on the 2020 Olympics!