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Feb 2014 Winner – Conall Mahon

ConallMahonHard work, dedication and a certain Francie Shaw are just some of the reasons behind Conall Mahon’s recognition as the Fermanagh Herald Sports Personality of the Month for February.

In the most successful month of his young career the 20 year-old former St Michael’s College pupil smashed his personal best twice on the way to a bronze medal at the Irish National Indoor Championships, his first medal at senior level.

In doing so the National University of Galway student became the first Fermanagh athlete to win a medal at the championships for many a year and is now recognised as one of the top triple jumpers in the country.

“I kind of had a disappointing season the year before,” explained Conall, “but this year I have been taking it very seriously, training hard every day.

“First of all I broke my personal best when I came third in the university championships, but come the seniors I wasn’t really expecting anything. I was actually lying in fifth in the competition, but had broken my personal best.

“It was left until the last round when I broke my personal best again by another 40cm and got the bronze medal.

“When I jumped it I knew I jumped well, but when the thing came up on the board it was surprising to fathom.”

That jump of 14.10m secured the medal and Conall, the number one ranked triple jumper in Ireland at Under 23 level is now targeting the outdoor season to make further improvements.

“I’m the best ranked under 23 in Ireland and hopefully I can win that title and then the main aim will be to get a medal at Irish outdoor seniors and improve my personal best hopefully.” And as for the future he has not ruled out representing Ireland at European championship and Olympic level.

“I’m taking it every small step at a time, but obviously you have that aim

in the back of your head, but at the minute I’m just taking it as it comes. I have another two years beyond the year at the university so I’ll keep

it up during that time then I’ll reassess things and hopefully I will have improved enough to qualify for funding.”

Training six times a week Conall will always be indebted to former coach Francie Shaw, who helped his hone his skills as a youngster at St Michael’s College.

“He’s probably the main reason be- hind my success, it’s probably because of him and my coaches in Donegal Town putting in the work with me that I’m here today. After every competition he’s always in touch with me.”

He added: “You wouldn’t put in the amount of training you do though if you didn’t love the sport. At times you may get annoyed, but when you have just jumped a personal best in a competition there’s no better feeling.”


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