Hazel Galloway of Clonmel AC went into the European Masters Indoor Championships in Braga Portugal last week well prepared after such a long time without any competition. Hazel showed at the national championships recently that she was peaking at just the right time.
Hazel negotiated the semi-final on day three of the championships. In her semi-final she ran 10.04 secs. Then on day four Hazel produced her best run over 60m this season, setting a new national record for the age category in 10.02 secs.
Unfortunately, Hazel was just run out of the medals when she finished a very creditable fourth, given the experience of the athletes ahead of her.
A couple of hours later she was back on stage to contest her 200m semi-final. One might have thought that Hazel was going to feel her earlier exertions for the 60m, but she was thinking differently, andran a blinding race from the difficult lane six. Though she tired in the last 10m, she managed to qualify in another national record of 34.88 secs and so had another final to look forward to on the Saturday afternoon.
What a final this turned out to be.
Hazel was so determined not to let the occasion get to her and swore to give it everything she had. Drawn in the tight lane two, she got her usual fast start and powered into the first bend, putting herself exactly where she wanted to be. She consolidated down the back straight and coming out of the final bend she was in a share of second place.
Down the final stretch, however, the longer stride of her opponents gave them just enough to pull Hazel’s lead back.
Hazel’s heroic effort fell just short of a medal, but she had the consolation of shattering the national record she had set in the semi-final earlier in the week. The time of 33.68 secs was just four hundredths of a second off a bronze medal and 15 hundredths from silver.
Sport can be cruel sometimes, but Hazel was very philosophical about her performances at the championships and looks forward to the world championships in Edmonton in Canada in a year’s time; a terrific attitude from an inspirational athlete.
Both Hazel and John would like to thank everyone who sent good wishes of support throughout the week. It is a real inspiration to know so many people appreciate what all the athletes are doing.
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