INPHO/Dan Sheridan Cuddihy moved to Australia to train full time there last year.
London 2012: Introducing… Joanne Cuddihy
The 400m athlete and former UCD Medicine student is hoping to make amends for her disappointing performance in 2008.

Event: 400 metres

Who is she? An Irish sprint athlete who, with a time of 50.73 seconds, is the Irish outdoor women’s record holder.

It is the 28-year-old’s second time competing at the Olympic Games, having also participated in 2008. On that occasion, persistent knee injury problems hindered her performance, and she consequently failed to qualify for the 400m semi-finals.

She moved to Australia for full-time training last year, and subsequently enjoyed some notable successes, including winning the 400 metres at the Irish National Championships.

In addition to her individual exploits, she is also due to compete for the Irish women’s 4×400-metre team in London.

Road to London: She achieved the Olympic qualifying time in May at the Shizuoka International Track and Field Meet in Japan, with a time of 51.45, winning the race in the process.

What she says about herself: “Hopefully this time I can make amends [for 2008]. Everyone gets excited and can lose the run of themselves in an Olympic year, but I’m delighted to say this time I’ve pretty good form so far. It’ll be less intimidating as I’m a good bit older and I’ve been in the sport a long time, so it’s not quite as frightening” – KCLR96fm.

Medal chances? At 28, she is arguably at the peak of her career, and she certainly has enough experience to cope with the big occasion. However, given her disappointing performance last time around, she’ll be focusing on getting through to the semis first and foremost, rather than thinking about medals. Therefore, it’s a two from Jimmy.

If you meet her in a bar, ask her about… Her presumably quite hectic life. She somehow manages to combine being a top athlete with work as a doctor, having completed her medical degree in UCD.

On the Twitter: It’s difficult to ascertain whether the sporadically used @jojo400 is genuinely her. Why not follow anyway and judge for yourself?

If she was a YouTube video, she’d be… ‘I Won’t Back Down’ by Tom Petty, because she has doggedly prevailed despite her problems with injuries in the past.

YouTube credit:

Read: Preview: Hate and hype fuel Haye-Chisora clash>

Read more of TheScore’s “London 2012: Introducing” series here>

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