James Nolan

James Nolan (born 27 January 1977) is an Irish athletics coach and a former international runner for the Republic of Ireland from 1996 until 2008. He was a two time Olympian who specialized in the 800 metres between 1996 and 2000 before changing to the 1500 metres later that year.

James Nolan
Medal record
Men's athletics
Representing  Ireland
European Indoor Championships
Silver medal – second place 2000 Ghent 1500 m

He was a silver medalist in the 800 m race at the European Athletics U23 Championships in 1999 and runner up over 1500 metres at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in 2000. He competed twice at the World Championships in Athletics (2001, 2005), three times at the European Athletics Championships (1998, 2002, 2006) and six times at the IAAF World Indoor Championships.

He set personal bests of 1:46.05 minutes for the 800 m (1999) and 3:35.69 minutes in the 1500 m (2003).


Born in Tullamore, County Offaly,[1] he won his first international medal (a silver) as a teen at the European Youth Summer Olympic Days.[2] During his senior career, he reached the final at the European Indoor Championships on three occasions (1998, 2000 2002, 2007), as well as three appearances in finals at the World Indoor Championships (1998, 2003, 2006). Nolan ran in numerous championships, racing in over 25 countries during his thirteen-year career, though he did not perform close to his best times at major international events. His international racing wound down with a final showing at the 2008 IAAF World Indoor Championships: later that year he was unable to qualify for the 2008 Olympics and he retired in early January 2009 (four years after his Irish Sports Council grant was withdrawn citing injury problems).[3]

He had a longer career and more consistently qualified for championships than contemporaries such as David Matthews and Gareth Turnbull but as stated after his earlier medal wins struggled particularly at outdoor events to do more than qualify for championships. Nolan was involved in a well publicised row in 2004 when RTÉ's commentator Jerry Kiernan accused him of being a dilettante at that year's Olympics. The controversy brought Nolan to the attention of the wider Irish public when he launched a savage attack on the pundit in response.[4]

He is now a sports coach, having graduated from University College Dublin (UCD) in 2008, which he attended from 1996-2001 on a sports scholarship and then 2005-2008, with a BSc in sports management and he is now involved with projects such as the fastkids website. Nolan was appointed head of athletics by the Paralympic Council of Ireland in 2009 and is also middle distance coach at his old university UCD for 2010/11. He is married to Afton whom he met whilst he trained regularly in South Africa between 2001 and 2005.[5]

International competitionsEdit

Representing   Ireland
Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
1993 European Youth Summer Olympic Days Valkenswaard, Netherlands 2nd 800 m 1:53.45
1996 European Indoor Championships Stockholm, Sweden 11th (h) 800 m 1:51.68
World Junior Championships Sydney, Australia 8th 800 m 1:51.88
1997 World Indoor Championships Paris, France 11th (semis) 800 m 1:48.75
European U23 Championships Turku, Finland 5th 800 m 1:47.98
1998 European Indoor Championships Valencia, Spain 4th 800 m 1:47.81
European Championships Budapest, Hungary 13th (semis) 800 m 1:48.50
1999 World Indoor Championships Maebashi, Japan 5th 800 m 1:47.77
European U23 Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 2nd 800 m 1:46.94
2000 European Indoor Championships Ghent, Belgium 2nd 1500 m 3:41.59
Olympic Games Sydney, Australia 23rd (h) 1500 m 3:40.50
2001 Universiade Beijing, China 1500 m DNF
World Championships Edmonton, Canada 30th (h) 1500 m 3:42.84
2002 European Indoor Championships Vienna, Austria 6th 1500 m 3:50.84
European Championships Munich, Germany 18th (h) 1500 m 3:48.48
2003 World Indoor Championships Birmingham, United Kingdom 6th 1500 m 3:44.67
2004 World Indoor Championships Budapest, Hungary 17th (h) 1500 m 3:47.27
Olympic Games Athens, Greece 18th (semis) 1500 m 3:42.61
2005 European Indoor Championships Madrid, Spain 18th (h) 1500 m 3:46.50
World Championships Helsinki, Finland 28th (h) 1500 m 3:42.53
2006 World Indoor Championships Moscow, Russia 6th 1500 m 3:43.98
European Championships Gothenburg, Sweden 26th (h) 1500 m 3:49.94
2007 European Indoor Championships Birmingham, United Kingdom 7th 1500 m 3:46.34
2008 World Indoor Championships Valencia, Spain 14th (h) 1500 m 3:42.12

Personal bestsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ James Nolan. Sports Reference. Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  2. ^ European Youth Olympics. GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2014-11-25.
  3. ^ Nolan has no regrets, even if the cheaters robbed him. Irish Times (2009-05-02). Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  4. ^ James Nolan blasts RTÉ panellist. RTE (2007-06-14). Retrieved 2018-04-04.
  5. ^ Mooney, Brendan (2008-02-21). Nolan targeting new record in Stockholm. Irish Examiner. Retrieved 2018-04-04.

External linksEdit