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Irish heptathlete O'Connor 'so excited for what's next' after stunning second and national record in Italy

The 20-year-old’s first heptathlon in two years was one to remember.

It was a day to remember for Kate O'Connor.
It was a day to remember for Kate O'Connor.
Image: Kate O'Connor Twitter.

IRISH HEPTATHLETE KATE O’Connor enjoyed a day to remember at the Multistars World Athletics Combined Events Challenge in Lana, Italy, yesterday, producing a huge performance to finish second.

In her first heptathlon in two years, O’Connor clocked up 6297 points — seven off the winner, Maria Vicente of Spain — to set a new Irish record in a remarkable display.

Her tally beat her own record and puts her firmly in line for Olympic qualification; the qualifying standard for this summer’s Games 6420.

The Newry 20-year-old smashed her PB in the 100m hurdles, clocking 13.94, and followed that up with a 1.80m high jump, 14.23m shot put, 24.94-second 200m, 5.84m long jump, 51.61m javelin throw and a lifetime best of 2:11.76 in the 800m.

The competition in Lana — a happy hunting ground for St Gerard’s AC star O’Connor — saw 14 athletes with a PB over the 6000 points barrier go head-to-head, including top rising talents like Vicente, Geraldine Ruckstuhl of Switzerland, Great Britain’s Holly Mills and Australian Sarah Lagger.

“I CANT BELIEVE IT,” O’Connor, 2019 European U20 heptathlon silver medallist and history-maker having become Ireland’s first heptathlon medallist at any level, wrote on Twitter.

“6297 points in my first heptathlon in two years AND A NEW IRISH RECORD. I’m so excited for what’s next.”

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Emma Duffy

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