Tipperary Olympic Countdown - Thomas Chamney - OLYMPICS: 2008 SPORT: ATHLETICS [800m]

Thomas Chamney was born on 16 APR, 1984 at Mountain Road, Clonmel. He is the youngest of two children, and was educated in primary school at St. Mary’s CBS, Clonmel and did sixth class at Scoil na Leanaí, an Irish-language school in Ring, Co. Waterford.

Thomas Chamney was born on 16 APR, 1984 at Mountain Road, Clonmel. He is the youngest of two children, and was educated in primary school at St. Mary’s CBS, Clonmel and did sixth class at Scoil na Leanaí, an Irish-language school in Ring, Co. Waterford.

Secondary school was at Kilkenny College in Kilkenny, and also at St. Columba’s College in Dublin, and he did his transition year at the Spanish Sports Institute C.A.R. [Centre d’Alt Rendiment], in St. Cugat, Barcelona studying Spanish and running. After St. Columba’s College, Thomas was awarded an athletics scholarship from the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana,USA which he attended from 2002–2007 and studied English literature, business and film. Thomas has since completed a masters in English at Open University, at Milton Keynes, England. His father John Chamney is a retired Export Director from C&C International, makers of such drinks as Tullamore Dew and Bulmers cider and his mother Josephine Chamney is headmistress of the High Support Special School for the South East. 

It was at the Irish school in Ring, Co. Waterford that Thomas Chamney first discovered his love of running on their glorious beach. At school in St. Columba’s College he was ranked among the top middle-distance runners in his age group in Ireland and also played rugby and soccer - his father John Chamney had played rugby for Trinity College in Dublin, as number eight. When he was eighteen Thomas ran 800m in 1:51.40 to secure a scholarship from the University of Notre Dame [the famous ‘Fighting Irish’] in USA. The following year, in 2003 he got his time down to 1:49.55 and by 2005 his best time was 1:48:73. The same year he finished fifth in the European Under-23 Championships in Erfurt, Germany. In the summer of 2007 Chamney got his mark down to a very respectable 1:46.66 at a meeting in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy. After winning the 800m at the Irish National Track & Field Championships in 2008 he was selected to compete for Ireland at the Bejiing Olympics. At those Olympics Games, in the bird’s nest stadium, running in front of a crowd of 90,000, he placed 5th in his heat in a time of 1:47.66 in a race won by Kenya’s Wilfred Bungei, the eventual Olympic gold medalist. 

Standing 6’ 2”, and running in the colours of the Crusaders AC in Dublin, Thomas Chamney has won a total of 4 Irish 800m titles [2006, 2008, 2009, 2010]. His best time of 1:45.41 for 800m was set in 2009 at the Bislett Games in Oslo, and was ranked 27th fastest in the world that year –Thomas is ranked 3rd in the Irish all-time rankings. In 2010 he ran 1500m in 3:36.83 at Barcelona, Spain. Both times are the best for the distance by a Tipperary athlete, and he also holds the Tipperary indoor record for 800m with 1:48.50 [2006], and for 1500m with 3:43.04 [2010]. As well as competing in the Olympic Games in 2008, and the European Under-23 Championships in 2005 Thomas Chamney has represented Ireland in the World Championships in 2009, European Championships in both 2006 and 2010, the European Junior Championships in 2003, and the World University Games in 2007. In America, his best performances in the American Collegiate [NCAA] championships were two 6th place finishes in the 800m indoors + outdoors in 2006, and an 8th place finish in the 800m indoors in 2007. This earned Thomas three ‘All-American’ citations which he augmented by being selected to the Academic All-American Team twice. Thomas won the athletics award at the Tipperary Sports Awards for 2005 and 2009 – he currently lives in Limerick and uses the training facilities at University of Limerick. After almost one and a half years of serious injury, Thomas has missed the London Olympics which has been his four year goal. Undaunted he is now back in full training in his quest to reach his full potential and again compete successfully for Ireland at International competitions. Thomas’s sister Dr. Sarah Chamney works at Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast where she is studying to be an ophthalmologist [pediatric eye surgeon].