O’Dwyer happy with qualifying height

ADRIAN O’Dwyer expressed delight yesterday following confirmation that the qualifying height for the final of the men’s high jump is 2.28m.

“It’s great news,” he said. “And I just can’t wait to compete. I am so eager to get going I want to jump over everything I see.”

Within hours of competing for Ireland in the European Cup in Iceland, he cleared 2.32 at the Grand Prix in Algiers to achieve the Olympic A standard. That jump would have won him a medal at the last Olympics.

“I think 2.28 is a really nice heights so I will settle for that for the moment,” he said. “But in the final anything can happen. Everything has been going really well in recent times. And here it is just great. The Athletes’ Village is really good and the atmosphere is great. It’s warm but not too warm for me. I like to compete in the heat.”

He had his final work out in advance of tomorrow evening’s competition. In the absence of his Coach, 1956 Olympian Maeve Kyle, Stephen Maguire overlooked his session.

“He is very good and it is great to have him around,” O’Dwyer said.

“That was my final session before competition and now I just can’t wait to compete.”

After a traumatic 48 hours, athletics manager Michael Quinlan was in relieved mood yesterday.

“Robert Heffernan arrived safely and Maria McCambridge comes in today,” he said. “Sonia O’Sullivan also arrives in today but she will not be staying in the Athletes’ Village. Both herself and Maria will be in the 5,000m on Friday night. James Nolan is also here and in good form. He will compete in the heats of the 1,500m on Friday night also.

“The only concern at the moment is Nick Sweeney. He is scheduled to compete in the discus on Saturday morning but he is due in the Athletes’ Village tomorrow morning for an MRI scan on the knee which he injured earlier this week.

“Whether or not he competes at the weekend will depend on the results of that so we are hoping for the best.”

Sweeney, was added to the team when the deadline for qualification was put back to July 20.

McCambridge was added to the team after she met the A standard well after the deadline had expired.

Olive Loughnane will now carry Irish hopes in the women’s 20km walk on Monday following the withdrawal of Gillian O’Sullivan on Tuesday.

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