John McAdorey: Olympic sprinter will be greatly missed in athletics community
JOHN McAdorey was part of an Irish Olympic sprint team whose relay run almost two decades ago has never been bettered.
The Ballymena man, who has died aged 45, ran the first leg for the quartet which set an Irish record of 39.26 seconds for the 4x100m at the Sydney games in 2000.
In the same team was fellow Ballymena & Antrim athlete Paul Brizzel and the local link continued through former Olympian Maeve Kyle, who coached the squad.
McAdorey had been an Irish champion at under-23 level in the 1990s and won the senior 100m title in 2001 as well as being indoor champion over 60m.
His personal best over 100m was a wind-assisted 10.28 seconds in the run-up to the Sydney Olympics, although his quickest legal time was 10.45.
He retired from the sport due to work commitments but later returned in a coaching capacity.
Former Ireland team manager Patsy McGonagle said he was a very popular member of the squad.
"He was on several teams when I was manager - most notably at the Sydney Olympics when the 4x100m relay squad set that national record which remains to this day," he told the BBC.
"John was a very good team man. He started off in athletics quite young, then drifted away from the sport for a time but came back to become an Olympian and that was a tremendous achievement for him."
Athletics Ireland also said he would be greatly missed in the athletics community.
John McAdorey died on September 25 at the Cancer Centre at Belfast City Hospital.
He is survived by his partner Julie, sons Conor and Callum, parents Matthew and Marian and siblings Kerri, Lyndsey and Joshua.