LIMERICK'S Ciara Neville ran a powerful final leg as the Irish 4x100m womens relay team smashed the national record in finishing fifth at the IAAF World U-20 championships final in Bydgoszcz, Poland, on Saturday.
The talented Irish quarter, which also included Sharlene Mawdsley, of Newport, as well as Molly Scott (SLOT), and Gina Akpe-Moses (Blackrock Louth) clocked 44.82 seconds in the prestigious final to smash the national U20 record.
Some 166 nations took part in the World U-20 Championships, formerly the Junior World Championships this year.
Neville, of Emerald AC, anchored the team home and was just pipped by the Poles by one hundreth of a second who had Ewa Swoboda, the second fastest U20 in history, on the anchor leg.
"I was just focused on the line and just missed out," said a more than content Neville afterwards. The race was won by the USA in a world U20 leading time of 43.69 .
Castletroy College student Neville was a semi-finalist in the European Youths Athletic Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia earlier this month.
The 16-year-old claimed gold in the 100m at the European Youth Olympic festival in Tbilisi last year.
The talented teenager claimed silver in the Junior 100m and bronze in the 200m at the GloHealth National Junior and U-23 Championships in Tullamore this month and won gold in the intermediate 100m, 200m and 4x100m relay for Castletroy College at the All-Ireland Schools Track and Field finals in Tullamore last month.