Olympic Disappointment for Leevale, but Sonia Provides the Thrills

Well it’s the end of another Olympic Games, a games that will long be remembered for Sonia O’Sullivan’s tremendous exploits in the green and gold of Ireland.  For amongst the mediocrity of the other Irish performances, Sonia turned in some of the finest races of her long career, capturing two personal bests, two Irish records, a top-6 placing in a memorable 10,000m, and best of all, a silver medal in the 5,000m.  Sonia’s performances are even more remarkable, some would say phenomenal, considering her well publicised disappointments in Atlanta four years ago.  Our own Mark Carroll can hopefully make a similar comeback in Athens after a disappointing run this year.  Mark’s failure to reach the 5,000m final is a big disappointment for a man who has shown he is well capable of mixing it with the Africans.  When one considers that all medal positions in the men’s 1,500m, Steeplechase, 5,000m, 10,000m, and Marathon were filled by Africans, the enormity of Mark’s task was a daunting one.  Mark, however, is nothing if resilient and will undoubtedly shine again.  Leevale’s other Olympian, part-time sprinter Donal McCarthy, was a substitute on the Irish 4x100m team which failed to get past the first round.  Congratulations Sonia, commiseration to Mark and Donal.  Roll-on Athens, you have all made us very proud!  (Visit Sonia’s own website at http://www.soniaosullivan.com).