O’Rourke seeks repeat of her Moscow flyer

DERVAL O’ROURKE goes to the World Indoor Championships in Doha next month looking for a repeat of Moscow four years ago when she turned in a succession of storming performances en route to the 60m hurdles title.

“I am quietly confident about Doha,” she said after winning her 10th national indoor title at the Odyssey Arena on Sunday.

“I’ll go in nice and low key and see what happens. LoLo (Jones) has run 7.8 secs this season and there are a couple 7.9s. But I would be very surprised if it is won in sub 7.8. It would be nice to have a repeat of Moscow.”

She had just come back from a torn calf muscle to win the title on Sunday and she admitted her time exceeded the expectations of her coach, Sean Cahill.

“I know I am in very good shape – I just need to train over the hurdles. I did not attack them very well today which was probably due to a bit of anxiety brought about by not having done it for so long.

“I have to be pleased with the run. Sean Cahill said to me ‘if you run 8.3 you have to be happy because you have done nothing. I don’t know any of the other girls you race who would come out after not running for a month and try to win their nationals.’

“Next weekend we have to decide between the AAA championships in Sheffield and Ghent. It depends if there are two runs in Ghent or not. I’d rather get two runs and get loads of it in.”

Clare Brady (Celbridge AC) who ran 7.35 seconds to set her fourth personal best of the indoor season and post her qualifying time for the world championships gets her place among the stars in Doha (March 12-14).

Coached by the former Irish Olympian and record holder, Gary Ryan from Nenagh, her performance earned her the Athlete of the Meet award after she had beaten defending champion, Niamh Whelan (Nenagh) who was third, and national 100m champion, Ailis McSweeney (Leevale), who was second in 7.49 secs.

Ferrybank’s Kelly Proper will compete in the long jump after achieving the qualification standard when breaking her own Irish record at the Vienna Gala last month when she jumped 6.62m.

On Sunday she underscored her current form when she came off a heavy block of training to retain both her long jump and 200m titles in Belfast.

Deirdre Byrne (Sli Cualann AC) will compete in the 3,000m. She achieved the qualification standard when she made the final at the European Indoor Championships in Turin last year. The Wicklow woman took the 3000m national title at the weekend in 9.03.52.

Following her performance at the National Championships, Kelly McNeice (City of Lisburn) will compete in the 1500m. McNeice took some six seconds off her previous best when she won the 1,500m title in 4:14.63.

David McCarthy (Le Cheile AC) is currently the only man on the team and he will line up in the men’s 800m after achieving the qualifying standard with an indoor pb (1:48.29) in Vienna. He was a finalist at 400m at the world indoor championships in Birmingham some years ago when his team mate, Paul McKee, was a bronze medallist.

Record holder and former two-time European indoor 400m champion, David Gillick (DSD) could be included in the team as soon as he makes his intentions known and there is still time for other additions should there be more qualified athletes.


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