Derval O'Rourke's love affair with Championship racing was evident once again as she blasted through this morning's 100m hurdles heats at the European Championships in Barcelona.
O'Rourke clocked a season's best time of 12.88 seconds when winning her heat, making her the third fastest qualifier for tomorrow evening's semi-finals. She beat once of the overall favourites, Germany's Carolin Nytra, into second (12.89).
Speaking afterwards, the Cork sprinter said: "It actually felt quite easy. I hate the early rounds.
"It's been a crazy season for me. I've fallen over, been disqualified for false starting - things I never do.
"But I'm in really good shape. I love the Championships, it's an even slate for everybody and you just run like hell."
O'Rourke, the 29-year-old former World indoor champion, will have Nytra and impressive Turk Nevin Yanit for company in her semi-final. She has been drawn in lane six, with the first three in each semi-final and two fastest losers overall to qualify for the final.
Meanwhile, Waterford's Niamh Whelan progressed through to this evening's 200m semi-finals (6pm Irish time) as a fastest loser. The 20-year-old, competing in her first European Championships, ran 23.78 for fourth in her heat, and on current form is the fifth fastest of her semi-final field. Three will go through automatically, along with two fastest losers.
Deirdre Ryan from Dublin was two centimetres away from earning a place in the high jump final. She finished ninth in her qualifying group, leaping to a season's best of 1.90 metres.
There will be three Irish athletes in final action tonight - Paul Hession goes in the 200m final at 6.25pm Irish time, Fionnuala Britton lines up in the 3000m steeplechase final (7.25pm) and David Gillick, the most likely to claim a medal, has been drawn in lane four in the 400m final (8.25pm).