Sprint hurdler Derval O’Rourke has today been named The Irish Times / Irish Sports Council ‘Sportswoman of the Month’ for July following her recent silver medal in the 100m Hurdles at the European Championships in Barcelona. This is the fourth championship medal that the 29-year-old Leevale athlete has won and with a time of 12.65 seconds the former World Indoor champion took .02 of a second off her previous best and has set a new Irish record.
Derval is now in the history books, alongside her heroine Sonia O’Sullivan, for being the only Irish athletes to win medals at more than one European Championships. Her silver in Barcelona was just Ireland’s 11th medal in the history of the event.
While her silver lifted the spirits after a disappointing Championships for the Irish team, she was torn between contentment at running a personal best and frustration that she had only been piped by .02 of a second to gold by Turkey’s Nevin Yanit, who ran 12.63 seconds.
Derval’s accomplishment makes her a serious contender for the overall Sportswoman of the Year award, for which she will battle against the other monthly winners in January 2011. O’Rourke also won the overall Sportswoman of the Year award in 2006 following her World Indoor gold in Moscow and silver at the European Championships in Gothenburg.
She now has her sights firmly set on bettering her time before next year’s World Championships and the 2012 Olympics. “I’d love to finish my career with the full set of medals” she said, “that would be unbelievable”.
Further details on the Sportswoman of the Year Awards can be found on the Irish Times website.