The Cork woman who became an internet sensation this week following her astonishing ‘against-the-odds’ win in the 4x400-metre relay at the Irish University Athletics Championships has described the reaction as “absolutely insane”, writes Brian Canty.
Third-year nursing UCC student Phil Healy has been interviewed by iconic US daily newspaper The Washington Post while she’s also been featured in many of the country’s top sports websites.
A video of Saturday’s race in Morton Stadium has been viewed over 270,000 times on YouTube and she’s still receiving messages of congratulations five days on.
Oh, and UCC were even kind enough to give their latest sports star a one-week extension on a final year project she had due for Friday so she can attend to media duties!
“The assignment was pushed to the side because the reaction just went absolutely insane.
"Thankfully UCC have given me an extension to the assignment so I’m off until next week!
“It was crazy because we didn’t expect to win and I only decided to run 20 minutes before the event,” she explained.
“I had ran in the 100 and 200 metres and one of the girls just asked would I fill in on the last leg and I said ‘throw me in and I’ll see what I can do’”.
What she did was truly extraordinary, bringing her team back from what commentator Cathal Dennehy described as “the depths of hell” or, from fifth to first in 200 incredible metres.
“I went home Saturday night, I missed the banquet that night and just continued on as normal on Sunday.
“It was Monday before it exploded. It went absolutely crazy,” she laughed.
“I had an assignment due this Friday and I was doing the work and last night the media frenzy went off the wall.
“I’ve watched it a few times myself and I can hear the girls in the other rooms I’m living with playing the video it on their phones.
“I’ve been tagged on twitter and Facebook so many times I’d say I’ve driven people demented!
“I was saying to my coach Shane McCormack, ‘how can I go out and perform better than this? I can retire now’!”