Brendan into hammer final in Tbilisi

EUROPEAN YOUTH ATHLETICS CHAMPIONSHIPS

Brendan into hammer final in Tbilisi

Lifford/Strabane AC's Brendan O'Donnell is through to Friday's final of the hammer at the European Youth Athletics Championships after he qualified in style from this morning's heats.

Brendan was the first of the Donegal competitors in action in Tbilisi and he finished fourth in his heat with a personal best of 70.06m.

O’Donnell, who is coached by his father, John, had a best throw this season of 67.72m which he achieved last month at the Mary Peter’s Track in Belfast.

But he improved considerably on that throw this morning to book his place in tomorrow afternoon's final.

There's a particularly strong Donegal flavour to the Irish team at the inaugural Championships which started in Tbilisi, Georgia this morning (Thursday).

The team, which flew out from Dublin on Sunday, is managed by Neil Martin of Finn Valley AC. Teresa McDaid of Letterkenny AC is one of the team's coaches.

Finn Valley AC has three athletes competing. Janine Boyle, an athlete who has been in superb form this year, runs in the 200m. Arlene Crossan, fresh from a silver medal at her first ever Irish Senior Track and Field Championships, competes in the 400m hurdles.

Crossan represented Ireland at last year's European Youth Olympics in Tbilisi in the long jump and relay .

Both athletes will be in action in their respective events on Friday with Sommer Lecky, also of Finn Valley, also competing on Friday in the high jump.

Lecky won a bronze medal at last year's European Youth Olympics.

Brendan O’Donnell is also familiar with the Georgian capital having competed there in last year’s European Youth Olympics where he finished an impressive 7th in the hammer final.

The winner of that event was Ukranian, Myhalo Havrylyuk and he is favourite to take the title again this time around.