Ciaran Ó Lionáird talls to ‘Off The Ball’ on his hopes for 2014

The Leevale distance runner chatted to Joe Molloy on Off The Ball as the disappointment of 2012 recedes into the distant past

After bursting onto the scene at Daegu in 2011, the Cork distance runner had finished second last in his 1500 metre heat and it capped a bitterly disappointing year that had been marred by an Achilles problem.

2013 turned out to be a far better season for O’Lionaird and saw him claim bronze at the European Indoor Championships in Goteborg and thankfully the Achilles issue was a thing of the past.

Heading into 2014, he told Joe on Off The Ball that his running has “taken a whole new lease of life” after undergoing surgery.

“After [the Olympics], having talked to my coach and everyone in my support team, the decision was to get out mentally and get a really good result in the European Indoors. We went for that and rehabbed the Achilles and we painted over the cracks to a degree – there were some other issues besides the Achilles that needed to be resolved. So once we got that positive result and got the medal in the Indoors, we decided to get it dealt with once and for all with three years to Rio.”

Post-surgery, the US-based athlete is now able to run pain-free as he builds towards a positive 2014, starting with the European Athletics Championships in Zurich.