Gold medal glory for Longford athlete Cian McPhillips at Celtic Cross Country International Championships in Belfast

Longford Leader Sports Correspondent


Longford Leader Sports Correspondent


Exceptionally talented Longford athlete Cian McPhillips began his 2018 season in considerable style today (Saturday, January 6) as he romped to the gold medal in the U-17 Celtic Cross Country International Championships at Greenmount Estate, Belfast in Antrim.

This is a magnificent achievement and honour for mercurial Ardagh runner McPhillips, his family and club, Longford Athletic Club

Cian's powerful performance also ensured that he and his Ireland team mates - Sean Donoghue (Celtic DCH), Tommy Connolly (Leevale AC) and Michael Morgan (Sligo AC) - took gold in the team event. 

Cian's memorable 2017 season

2017 was a memorable year for Cian McPhillips and he was named Junior Sports Person of the Year at Ganly's Longford Sport Star awards, in association with Longford Sports Partnership and the Longford Leader.

He produced a brilliant performance to win the Gold medal in the U-16 Boys 800m at the Irish Life Health National Indoor Juvenile Championships at the Athlone IT International Arena in April.

Then in the first stage of the National Community Games Finals at the National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, Dublin in May, Cian achieved another notable success when he finished second in the U-16 7K Marathon.

McPhillips went on to win another National title to claim the Gold medal in the U-16 Boys 800m race at the All-Ireland Juvenile Track & Field Championships at the Tullamore Harriers Stadium in July and produced another tremendous performance to finish second in the U-16 1,500m at the same event in adding a National silver medal to his mounting collection.

August turned out to be a magnificent month for highly talented Cian who won a Gold medal in the U-16 Boys 800m when representing Ireland against Scotland and Wales in the annual Celtic Games at Morton Stadium, Santry. And further success followed for the Ardagh athlete who produced another superb performance to win the U-16 Boys 1,500m at the Aldi Community Games National Finals at the National Sports Campus.

Cian triumphed in the Connacht Cross Country Championships staged in Calry, Sligo at the end of October when he won the U-16 Boys race in the colours of Longford Athletic Club. It was Cian’s 6th Connacht Cross Country title in a row as he grows from strength to strength in his sport.