Cian McPhillips described his international debut as phenomena after reaching the semi-final stage of the European indoor championship.
McPhillips finished second in his heat on Friday evening in 1:49.98 and then took fourth place in his semi-final posting 1:48.06 tagged as a European U20 record.
“The experience has been phenomenal” declared McPhillips, “obviously it’s different to regular championship with covid-19 restrictions, so I don’t know how regular championships really go”.
“It’s been fanastic, you see these guys on the television in Olympic finals and World finals, taking home medals. I’m standing beside them, talking to them, you see them at breakfast, it kind of humanises them” smiled McPhillips.
“Even competing against these guys, I know I’m quiet young but I hope to be there challenging them one day!”
It’s been a whirlwind 2021 for McPhillips having broken the Irish 800m indoor record when finishing behind Mark English at the Irish athletics elite micro indoor meet last month.
While athlete’s looked twice as the 18-year-old performed like a seasoned international, it was the colour of his vest which also brought attention. The Longford A.C singlet so long absent on the national stage.
“Longford is a very small club, but we have a very high international per capita, we really punch above our weight” declared McPhillips.
“We’ve great volunteer coaches, and we’re really starting to come through at Connacht championships and national championships”.
“We’ve a number of international athletes starting to come through it was unheard of a few years ago, it’s a fantastic rejuvenation of the club and I’m happy to be a part of it”.
“I didn’t think I’d have an indoor season, never mind qualify for a European championship” added McPhillips who was tagged with a European U20 record post the semi-final.
“I think that’s a mistake” explained McPhillips who posted 1:46.13 in the Micro Elite meet in Dublin.
“I didn’t have a drug test, so it wasn’t ratified as a European record, tonight was a slow race, so I doubt it was a European record” added the modest McPhillips.