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  • Northside East

Local athlete thanks Clonliffe Harriers after winning award 

Thursday, 9th January, 2020 1:00pm
Local athlete thanks Clonliffe Harriers after winning award 

President of Clonliffe Harriers Paddy Marley, Snezana Bechtina, Club Captain Joe Cooper, Ladies’ Captain Louise Carraher and Honorary Secretary Noel Guiden. PHOTOS: MICHAL SENDRAK

Local athlete thanks Clonliffe Harriers after winning award 

President of Clonliffe Harriers Paddy Marley, Snezana Bechtina, Club Captain Joe Cooper, Ladies’ Captain Louise Carraher and Honorary Secretary Noel Guiden. PHOTOS: MICHAL SENDRAK

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A NORTHSIDE athlete has expressed gratitude to her club after it recognised her achievements last year. 

Clonliffe Harriers AC, based in Santry, presented Snezana Bechtina with a trophy after she was announced as ‘Women’s Track and Field Athlete of the Year 2019’. 

Snezana, originally from Lithuania and now living in Clare Village, Malahide Road, was already recognised by her club earlier in the year after her success at the World Masters Athletic Championships in Torun, Poland.  

At the championships Snezana became a World Champion in the 200m and silver medallist in the 400m. She ran the 200m in a time of 25.62 to set a new Irish Masters’ indoor record.

Before the main competition Snezana was training intensely for approximately three months, two hours a day, six times a week. 

After the WMAC World Championships and following 10 years of disciplined training Snezana took a break, easing back to light training three times a week on her own with no team. 

“I enjoyed the extra family time,” she told Northside People. “I took part in only one competition during the 2019 outdoor season in September, to see where I was at for the 2020 season. I won a bronze medal in the 200m with a time of 26.4 at the European Masters AthleticChampionships in Caorle, Italy. 

“This was an amazing achievement. 

“I called it ‘magic’ because I couldn't move for three days due to back pain just two weeks before the championships.” 

But her intention to take part in the competition "healed" her.

"Each person needs to create a goal,” said Snezana. “Once you create the goal it becomes a ‘magic healer’.”

During the awards ceremony, it was outlined that Snezana was almost a one-person team at the National Indoor League, competing in long jump, triple jump, high jump, pole vault, 60m hurdles and relay for Clonliffe Harriers Athletic Club, in addition to her international successes.

“I wish to congratulate my coach John Shields which has been training me since 2010,” said Snezana. 

“John is one of the best coaches in Ireland. His athletes’ group is a ‘champion factory’.”

Snezana Bechtina pictured with her coach John Shields.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here