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Dublin: 2°C Friday 27 November 2020

London 2012: Introducing... Paul Hession

Our athlete-by-athlete guide continues with the fastest man on the island.

John Giles/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Event: 200 metres.

Who is he? The 29-year-old Galway man is the fastest man in Ireland. A native of Athenry, Hession holds the Irish record over 100, 200 and 300 metres.

Road to London: Hession has long since achieved the A standard. In face, he didn’t even have to leave the country to get it. Last August’s Track and Field Championships in Santry provided the setting for his time of 20.51. Four hundredths of a second inside the time needed.

What he says about himself: “I’d rather be too quick too early than too slow too early.” We’re not totally sure what this means so… how’s this?

“I could have very easily sat on my laurels and accepted another semi-final position in a World/Olympic games but I want more – The way it was going I could have run another 20.4 or 20.5 (seconds) and made a semi-final but that is not what I want.”

What they’re saying on the internet: “I’m going to personally drink a Guinness tonight in a toast to another sprinter we love,Paul Hession! Keep up the great sprinting mate!” WhiteLightning (

The same American contributor later added, ”Here is to the best Irish Sprinter that has ever lived most likely.I hope he inspires many more to come. Keep it up Paul!”

Medal chances: You’ve made it this far, so you hardly need me to tell you that the short distance races will be dominated by one nation, and possibly by one man: Usain Bolt.

Hession’s personal best of 20.30 seconds hasn’t been enough to win an Olympic medal since 1992. He has told that his aim is to make it into the final and that would certainly be an achievement in itself.

Just one Jimmy for Paul.

If you meet him at a bar, ask him about... History, he has a BA in it, so he could probably bore the pants off you if you wanted him to.

If he was a YouTube video, he would be... hmm, what else can you do in 20 seconds?

YouTube credit: draksus

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

About the author:

Sean Farrell

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