29 Sept 2022

Phenomenal run in France secures great win for Tipperary's Sean Tobin

Clonmel man finishes well inside qualifying time for European championships

Sean Tobin

Clonmel’s Sean Tobin had a great win in the 3,000 metres at an indoor meeting in Metz, France last weekend

The city of Metz in north-eastern France will always be a lasting memory for Clonmel athlete Sean Tobin, as on Saturday last he produced a phenomenal display to win his first senior race on the international stage in the 3,000 metres. 

“This was just pure class,” says Clonmel Athletic Club PRO Niall O’Sullivan.

This fantastic performance by Sean saw him set a new personal best for the 3,000 metres indoor and well inside the qualifying time of eight minutes for next month’s European Indoor championships in Torun, Poland. 

This performance also put him among the greats of Irish middle-distance athletes over this distance, as he is now ranked seventh in the all-time indoor standings in the company of such talented athletes as Frank O’Mara, Eamonn Coghlan, Marcus O’ Sullivan, Ray Flynn and John Treacy.

The race, over 15 laps had a strong entry. 

Sean went out strongly from the start and placed himself in midfield, close enough to the leaders to cover any sudden move. 

The first kilometre was reached in two minutes, 36.8 seconds and Sean was running smoothly. 

Then, with 1,200 metres to go he moved up to fifth place and reached two kilometres in five minutes, 14.1 secs. 

At this stage the pacemakers were gone and it was down to the top five, including Sean Tobin, to determine  the winner. 

Just after the two kilometres mark the Clonmel man moved effortlessly up to third place, ready to cover any sudden change of pace. 

He made his next move as the leaders approached the 2,600 metres mark and he moved into the lead. 

Here he showed all his experience of competing at the indoors in America when he sustained a strong tempo over the next 200 metres, ensuring that no one would overtake him. 

Then he capped it all off with a blistering surge down the back straight for the final time to open a commanding lead, which he held all the way to the line to win in a brilliant time of seven minutes, 48.01 seconds, which was a phenomenal performance.

“This performance by Sean should put a pep in the step of all club members, indeed all athletes as they train in these unchartered times,” says Niall O’Sullivan. 

Only a few weeks ago Sean was training on the highways and The Blueway of his home town, and to be able to go out and mix it with the best speaks volumes for his ability. 

“This confident win by Sean will surely see him in demand, as race meet organisers will be overly impressed by this authoritative performance,” says Niall O’Sullivan. 

Commenting on this brilliant run, Tony McCarthy, Clonmel AC chairman, said that this was a very impressive and commanding performance by Sean and a just reward for all the hard work he has put in in recent years. 

“This is the best performance by a club member and we are proud of Sean.

“Indeed it is one of the best, if not the best performance by a county athlete in recent years. 

“This great performance by Sean, coupled with the recent announcement that work on the world class International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) track facility on the bypass in Clonmel will commence once the Covid-19 ban on construction is lifted, is just brilliant. 

“It is great that we can have an athlete of Sean’s calibre to grace it.” 

After Metz he moves onto Barcelona, where hopefully the race organisers will have got his nationality right (after he had been mistakenly identified in France as British) for another race tonight, Monday. 

All of his clubmates in Clonmel AC and indeed the wider sporting fraternity wish him the very best of luck.  

For more sport see Tipperary rower Daire Lynch is putting in the hard yards to secure place on Irish team for Olympics

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