Cork’s World Championship star, Olive Loughnane has been named The Irish Times/Irish Sports Council ‘Sportswoman of the Month Award’ for August today for her superb performance in the twenty-kilometre walk at the Berlin event last month.
The 33-year-old, took silver, finishing just 49 seconds behind defending champion and Olympic gold medalist Olga Kaniskina of Russia in 1:28.58.
In soaring temperatures, Olive held off the challenge of China’s Hong Liu with 12 seconds to spare to take her first major championship medal, walking a season’s best.
Olive is only the fourth Irish athlete ever to have won a World Championship medal, joining Eamonn Coghlan (gold in 1983), Sonia O’Sullivan (silver in 1993 and gold in 1995) and Gillian O’Sullivan (silver in 2003), also in the 20km walk.
Olive said: "It is a honour to receive this Sportswoman of the Month Award and to be in the company of other monthly winners like Katie Taylor, Derval O’Rourke and Mary Cullen.
"It was only when I came home that it struck me what I achieved in Berlin. The crowds that turned out on Loughrea and Coachford were amazing."
Her recent performance in Berlin suggests she is one of Ireland’s top hopes of bringing home an Olympic medal.
"The World Championships was a significant step for me and has given me the confidence I need for the next three years, in looking forward to London 2012," she said.