Longford's Cian McPhillips today produced an incredible performance as he set a new 800m National Junior Indoor record in a fantastic battle with Mark English at the Elite Micro Meet in the National Indoor Arena.
Cian's magnificent time of 1:46.13 is a new National Junior Indoor Record and the Longford Athletics club member is comfortably inside the qualifying standard for the European Indoor Senior Championships in Poland in 2 weeks’ time.
Cian finished in second place just behind Mark English whose time of 1:46.10 is a new National Senior Indoor Record.
It was one of the fastest indoor 800m in Irish athletics history and legendary Longford athlete Ray Flynn tweeted his congratulations to his fellow and spoke of his pride at Cian's achievements.
"Keep an eye on this lad #cianmcphillips at 18, he just ran one of the fastest indoor 800m in Irish athletics history," enthused Karl Carpenter on Twitter, while Tom Maher acclaimed the young Longford athlete as "what a talent for the future is McPhillips".
The race (watch it below) was a sprint to the finish line with the experienced English just shading a thrilling battle.
The race was paced through 500m by Kevin Woods (Crusaders AC) and swift 27-second laps setting it up for a quick time.
Third place was John Fitzsimons (Kildare AC) and John also achieved the European standard.
18-year-old Cian has been patiently training away since his last race in August yet showed no race rustiness.
This is a superb achievement and great credit goes to his coach Joe Ryan for having Cian so well prepared.
The European Indoor Championships take place in Torun, Poland from March 5-7 and the qualifying standard for the 800m is 1:48.25 which Cian eclipsed by over two seconds.
New National 800m Record of 1:46:10 for @markenglish_ in a stunning finish with Cian McPhillips (1:46:13)— Athletics Ireland (@irishathletics) February 20, 2021
Both men well inside European Indoor standard of 1:48:25
What a race!!https://t.co/raTXnSjDRh pic.twitter.com/zNi3X4QuOT
Brilliant race in Abbotstown as @markenglish_ breaks his Irish indoor 800m record with 1:46.10 to edge 18-year-old Cian McPhillips, who smashes English's Irish U20 indoor record with 1:46.13. pic.twitter.com/hsDfSqdvsv— Cathal Dennehy (@Cathal_Dennehy) February 20, 2021
One year ago, young Cian McPhillips from my home County Longford won the Millrose Games High School mile. Today he ran under the Irish senior 800m record 1.46.18. And he is still 18! https://t.co/oddUNp0Sby— RayPFlynn (@RayPFlynn) February 20, 2021
What a run by 18yr old Cian McPhillips to run 1.46.13 in a indoor 800mts in Abbestown. Mark English won in 1.46.10 setting a Irish indoor record. Philips also inside old record. What a talent for the future is McPhillips.— Tom Maher (@TomMaher8) February 20, 2021
Keep an eye on this lad #cianmcphillips at 18, he just ran one of the fastest indoor 800m in Irish athletics history. Beaten by a vest by the wonderful @markenglish_ in one of the greatest Irish indoor races ever.— Karl Carpenter (@KarlCarpo) February 20, 2021
Longford’s 18-year-old Cian McPhillips is ranked 12th in the World over 800m! https://t.co/0oP2MhKNEI— Connacht Athletics (@ConnachtAths) February 20, 2021
Mark English crosses the finish line in a New National 800m Record of 1:46:10, just ahead of Cian McPhillips (1:46:13) at the @irishlifehealth Elite Micro Meet— Athletics Ireland (@irishathletics) February 20, 2021
Both inside Euro Indoor standard of 1:48:25 along with John Fitzsimons 1:47:80@sportsfile
➡️ https://t.co/raTXnSBffR pic.twitter.com/RbZUez5CSG