Travers lights up Elite Micro Meet

By Hayden Moore

DONORE Harriers star John Travers will be hoping to build upon his 3000m Elite Micro Meet victory when he battles it out at the European Indoor Championships in Poland next week.

Travers, who has won three National Senior Indoor 3000m titles in succession, registered another win in that event at the National Indoor Arena last Saturday.

January 2015 John Travers 1

John Travers won the 3000m

As the race passed the mile marker, DSD’s Hiko Tonosa held the lead with Travers following closely behind.

Tonosa maintained his lead, closely followed by the hunting pack of Travers, Daragh McIlhenny of UCD AC and Conor Bradley of Derry AC as they passed 2,400m.

Coming into the final lap, Travers made up the ground and opened up a gap before fending off the challenge of McIlhenny to win in a time of 7:50.40.

That time was quicker than any of his 3k titles, the fastest of which was 8:00.96 in 2020, and five seconds faster than the previous indoor PB and well inside the European qualifying standard of 7:58.50.

Following his emphatic victory, Travers made reference to his late coach Jerry Kiernan, the 1984 Olympic Marathoner.

“I’m absolutely delighted with that performance as emotions were high,” he said.

“Fastest time I've ever run indoors and way under the European standard.

“Delighted I could pull myself together and get in a very solid run after a very tough month.

“It’s one box ticked that myself and Jerry (Kiernan) had planned for this year, so hopefully I can tick the other boxes also throughout the year”.

Competing for a fourth National 3000m title will have to wait for Travers after the National Indoor Championships were cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions.

The Elite Micro Meet was given the greenlight after Athletics Ireland reached an agreement with the government to hold an officially sanctioned smaller event to give athletes the opportunity to obtain qualification for the European Indoors

The meet served as an opportunity for athletes to make a push for European qualification, and a 24-strong team has been picked to travel to the tournament in Tórun, Poland.

In the Men’s 1500m event on Sunday, Travers crossed the line under the European qualifying standard of 3:42.75 with a time of 3:41.74.

Having raced the night before, Travers was unable to bridge the gap established by UCD’s Luke McCann over the final lap and finished just 1.71 behind for silver.

Despite this, the 29-year-old was among four athletes who crossed the line inside the standard, although he did not make the cut due to the three-athlete-per-event limit.

Meanwhile, Donore’s Aoife Lynch, who is working under the guidance of Daniel Kilgallon at Tallaght AC, made an impressive last-minute entry to the Elite Micro Meet.

Competing in the Women’s 60m events on Sunday, Lynch set a new PB with a time of 7.55 to finish fourth in the first race before finishing 0.05 slower in the second, claiming fifth place.

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