The European Indoor Championships took place in Torun this weekend and it was brilliant to see our own Sean Tobin competing so well on this international stage in the company of world class athletes. Sean faced a tough schedule going into these Championships. His goal was to make the final, having come so close two years ago in Glasgow when missing out by 0.67 of a second for a berth in the final.
Sean was drawn in heat 2 and going into the race, all the athletes knew that they had to beat 7 mins 55.76 secs to get in as one of the fastest losers. As such the pace in the 2nd heat was a strong tempo from the off as they all wanted a chance of making the final. In the early stages Sean was well positioned as the race was run in an Indian file, reaching 1km in 2 mins 38.54 secs with Sean in 5th place. Then as they approached the 2km mark in 5 mins 18.86 secs the pace began to increase with Sean in 6th place. Then with 300m to go Sean moved up into a clear 5th place and he maintained that strong finish all the way to the line to qualify for his first major International track final in a new PB of 7 mins 47.71 secs, awesome running in such company. Indeed, the top six athletes in Sean’s race all qualified for the final which was to take place 24 hours later, very little time to recover, but recover he did. This performance by Sean ranks him the 6th fastest Irishman over this distance.
In the final all eyes were on Jacob Ingebrigsten of Norway as he was trying to become the first athlete to win both the 1500m and 3000m titles at the European indoors. He already had the 1500m title under his belt. The final started and it was soon evident that it would be tactical and be decided over the final few laps. It turned out that way as the pace was steady by their high standards, as they went through 1km in 2 mins 44.53 with the field tightly bunch and Sean in 6th place and 2k in 5 mins 26.69 secs with Sean 7th at this stage.
Then Jacob Ingebrigsten went to the front and gradually injected a fast pace that soon had the field spread out with laps of 28 secs for the remaining 5 laps, thus knocking away any thoughts the other athletes had of glory as he coasted to a brilliant win in 7 mins 48.20 secs. Sean maintained his great effort over the closing stages to finish in a time of 7 mins 58.11 secs.
This was a brilliant effort by Sean who was competing at this International level for the very first time and to be able to put two exceptionally good 3000m races back-to-back in the space of 24 hours, in such company, speaks volumes about his talent.
Coming into these Championships, Sean’s goal was to make the final and he achieved that in style. He then competed very well against the best in Europe over this distance in the final and such an experience will stand to him as he now knows that he can compete against the best in Europe.
He can now look forward with a great degree of confidence as he steps up in distance and chases the qualifying time for the 5000m in this year’s Olympics games, knowing that some of his competitors in last Sunday’s final will be competing at these Championships.
Looking back, Sean’s rise has been steady and progressive as he achieves new Goals each year and it is great to see all his hard work and pure dedication paying off in spades. He is a great ambassador for the Sport and for the club, he wears the Club singlet with great pride and is a great inspiration to all our Club members, Believe and Achieve.
From a club point of view, we are all thrilled and ecstatic with Sean achievements so far this year. Indeed, he becomes the first Club athlete to qualify for a major International Track final and what a way to celebrate the Club’s 50th anniversary and we are only three months into the year. Sean has set many a high standard for the Club over the years and his performances this weekend has to go down as one of the greatest achievements to date in the Club’s history.