Congratulations to Derval O’Rourke who put in a superb performance today to win the 60m hurdles at the World Indoor Track and Field Championships in Moscow.  She was up at the dawn today for her first round heat and easily qualified in second place for the semi final.  Her time of 7.93 was just a little outside her Irish record of 7.90.
There followed a ‘wait’ of about seven hours before she lined up in the semi final.  Again she was fast out of the blocks in the second semi and cruised to victory in a time of 7.87, again smashing her hours old Irish record.
Not only did Derval set a new Irish record in her semi, she was also the fastest qualifier for the final, guaranteeing her one of the prime lanes.
Derval’s performance in the final will surely be one to savour for years to come.  Just two hours after winning her semi final Derval was once again on track for the final.  Blasting out of the blocks she was foot perfect over each barrier and lead all the way to the tape for a magnificent victory.  And, once again, she demolished her Irish record with a fantastic time of 7.84, ranking her at number 2 in the world, just one second behind leader Lancena Golding-Clarke.
Congratulations to Jim Kilty for his superb coaching over the years and Sean Cahill who offered expert technical advice in recent months.  Jim must also take a lot of the credit for the healthy state of Irish sprinting following his stint as National coach in BLE.  His expert organisational skills brought Irish sprinting out of the doldrums.
Derval’s coaches in Leevale can also be rightly proud of her achievements.  Both John Sheehan and Seamus Power ensured the groundwork for Derval’s gold medal was of the highest standard.
Well done also to Ailis McSweeney who competed in the 60m.  A magnificent achievement for two Leevale athletes to make the World championships.
And well done to James Nolan for a great sixth place finish in the 1,500m after winning his heat earlier.
It’s still hard to believe that the Irish Sports Council cut the grants of Derval, James and others last year.  The ISC could do with a few people of vision amongst their ranks.

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