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London 2012: Introducing... Women's 4x400m relay team

Selection issues aside, it’s time to focus on the main event.

Marian Heffernan, Michelle Carey, Joanne Cuddihy and Claire Bergin.
Marian Heffernan, Michelle Carey, Joanne Cuddihy and Claire Bergin.
Image: INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Event: 4×400 metres relay

Who are they? Made up of four starters and two reserves, the one women’s 4x400m relay team Ireland have sent to London consists of Dubliners Michelle Carey and Claire Bergin, Kilkenny sisters Joanne and Catriona Cuddihy, Cork native Marian Heffernan and Jessie Barr from Waterford.

Road to London: Unfortunately, there has been controversy surrounding the team’s selection since it was initially announced last month. In Helsinki, the team held onto their top 16 ranking and were confirmed by the IAAF as one of the countries to secure a place in the Olympic event.

Athletics Ireland then named the six team members before Joanna Mills submitted, and won, an appeal against her omission. However, Catriona Cuddihy, who was then set to lose out, saw a counter-appeal successfully upheld and with Mills now stating that she will not be taking her case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, an extremely messy situation seems to have been finally settled with days to go.

What they say about themselves: “There’s been a lot of controversy around the relay team. It has been a hard thing for everybody to cope with.

We were all sick to our stomachs with what’s going on and it has been very unfortunate. Our minds have been a million miles away from where they should be. – Joanne Cuddihy (RTE Sport)

Medal chances: Of the 16 teams set to race, Ireland are placed 13th. The USA team are favourites to take gold while Russia and Jamaica should be there or thereabouts. Jimmy gives one.

On the Twitter: Wonder Woman fan Jessie Barr (@JessieBarr247), Claire Bergin (@BerginClaire) and Joanne Cuddihy (@jojo400) are all there. Catriona Cuddihy (@catrionacuddihy) has got a profile too, but has yet to tweet. We live in hope.

If you meet them at a bar, ask them… Just don’t bring up the selection fiasco. No doubt they’re all dying to move on and concentrate on the race they’ve been gearing towards for the past four years.

If he was a YouTube video, they would be... The video to OK Go’s 2009 hit Here It Goes Again. Timing and and teamwork are also key for these four.

YouTube credit:

London 2012: Introducing… David McCann

London 2012: Introducing… John Joe Nevin

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About the author:

Ben Blake

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