Phil Healy had to fight hard to complete a brilliant sprint double at the National Athletics Championships in Santry this afternoon.
Again, just like last week's 100m final, it was Sarah Lavin who pushed Healy right to the finish line and even more so in today's 200m final at Morton Stadium.
Lavin has battled back from a very serious ankle this year and ran a super race in 23.74 seconds, just behind Healy who won in a time of 23.54 seconds and paid tribute to the silver medal winner at the finish line.
"The race was super close, as with last week, and I knew Sarah was going to push me right to the line. Sarah is a phenomenal athlete and especially to come back after the injury that she had in February," said Healy.
"I'm just really happy to come out and take the title on top of last week's hundred metres."
📺WATCH: @philhealy2 taking gold in the women’s 200m final!@irishathletics @Jumping_The_Gun pic.twitter.com/qv0TzJew2U
— nTrai (@nTrai1) August 30, 2020
After winning the sprint double, the Ballineen Bullet has now won a total of twelve national senior titles and this year's success is all the more impressive as she has not run in the 100m event for several years, preferring to focus on the 200m.
The decison of Athletics Ireland to split the nationals over two weekends presented Healy with the perfect opportunity to attack both sprint events this year.
"I knew I had the strength because I've done some floor work. It was just a fight to the line and that creates the entertainment and that's what athletes want and the spectators watching so I'm just happy to take the win out of it after all," added Healy.
"There was always a glimmer of hope in May and June that the nationals would go ahead so it's a credit to all those involved in organising it, that it did give the athletes the opportunity to race.
"I'm just thrilled because if I didn't, if we didn't have this, I possibly wouldn't have raced so it was great to come out and especially over the two weekends, it gave me two opportunities to double up.
"[I have] a few weeks off now before the winter training starts again."