Two hundredths of a second between Tobin and Robinson after race of their lives 3 months ago

Two hundredths of a second between Tobin and Robinson after race of their lives

You could actually feel Sean Tobin and Paul Robinson's legs turning to jelly.

You could see the pain in their faces. The men's 1500m was the race of the weekend at the National senior athletics championships with Sean Tobin of Clonmel AC and Paul Robinson of St Coca's slogging it out right to the line.

One of the tightest finishes in Irish athletics' history went by without a crowd, but you could still feel the tension, anticipation and excitement in the air thanks to the bravery and honesty of these two athletes.

Eventually, it boiled down to .02 of a second with the rangy Robinson's desperate dive for the finish line earning him the gold medal after what was a titanic tussle with his Dublin Track club training partner.

Renowned for his honesty, the Steve Prefontaine-esque Tobin made a daring move from the get-go, streaking to an early lead in a bid to front run his way to glory. Initially, it looked like the Tipperary man's gutsy move would pay off as he stretched his advantage out to 35 metres at the half-way point.

But with the wind blowing hard, a lonely Tobin idled as Robinson, a former European finalist, gained encouragement and ground. With 200m to go, the Kildare man had made it to Tobin's coat-tails and from there, it was stride for stride, lunge for lunge to the line. The taller of the two was the first man across it in the commendable time of 3.43.91 given the conditions.


Elsewhere, Cork prodigy Darragh McElhinney confirmed his promise and ability with a sprint finish victory over John Travers of Donore Harriers. For a 19-year-old to win a national senior title is a fair achievement but McElhinney, a native of Glengarriff, is one of the most talented distance runners this country has produced in years.

Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

Elsewhere Ireland's fastest ever woman Phil Healy won the 100m sprint while Amy O'Donoghue won the women's 1500m. Stephen Gaffney won the men's 100m.

See the rest of the results here on Athletics