Ciara Neville strikes silver as sprinters take on the world

World silver medalist Ciara Neville is greeted by her grandmother Maura McCutcheon on arrival at Dublin Airport from the world under-20 championships. Photo: Piaras O'M’dheach/Sportsfile

A LIMERICK teenager has been praised by President Michael D Higgins after her silver medal successes in the IAAF World Under 20 Athletics Championships.

Ciara Neville, who finished sitting her Leaving Cert in Castletroy College just last month and her teammates took silver in the 4X100 meters relay in the games in Tampere, Finland last weekend.

Their time in taking the silver was just 0.6 off the Irish senior record for the event and their finishing time of 43.90 was a national junior record.

The 18-year-old from Monaleen ran the third leg of the race to be part of Ireland’s first medal-winning performance in a relay final at a major championship.

Ciara, who runs for Emerald AC said that after four years of hard work “our time has finally come”.

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Mayor James Collins joined in the congratulating the Limerick teenager and her team-mates Molly Scott, Gina Akpe Moses and Patience Jumbo Gula on their historic achievement.

“It takes a huge amount of commitment and hard work to even get to compete at this level, not alone come away with a silver medal which is tremendous.

“I know that the people of Limerick are immensely proud of Ciara who’s had an incredibly busy year as she also had to study and complete her Leaving Certificate this Summer. I look forward to meeting her and honouring her achievements at a later stage, ” Mayor Collins added.