BY CHRIS MCNULTY
JOHN Kelly reached the qualification mark for the European Junior Athletics Championships with a stunning shot putt throw on Sunday.
The Finn Valley AC man set a new Irish record when he flung the 6kg shot 18.61 metres, breaking Kerry man Eoin Leen’s 17.70m from 2003,
Kelly, who hails from St Johnston, recorded his fine throw at the Donegal Athletics Championships in Lifford.
A student at Letterkenny Institute of Technology, Kelly – who is coached by his father, John snr – won the Irish University Indoor title in February.
#European Junior Standard for John KellyJohn's Throw that secured the Standard. 18.61. #6kg #shotputt A #National #Provincial #County & #Club #Junior #record. Congrats to all the Team #ShotPutt #EuropeanJuniors
Posted by Kieran Carlin on Sunday, May 10, 2015
The European Junior Athletics Championships take place in Eskilstuna, Sweden, from July 16-19 next.
There was further success in Lifford for the Kelly household when James – John’s younger brother – set a new personal best, which also happened to be a Donegal and Ulster Under-16 record. Kelly reached 17.81 metres with a 4kg shot.
The Irish record of 17.86m is held by Paul Quirk of Crusaders and is the oldest record in Athletics Ireland books. Kelly is just 5cm away.
Also at the same Championships, Finn Valley’s Arlene Crossan jumped 5.80 metres in the long jump, a European Youth standard.