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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 21 August, 2019
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O'Rourke readies herself for European Indoor final

The Irish athlete has qualified for this evening’s 60m hurdles final at the European Indoor Athletics Championships in Paris.

Image: ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

AS FAR AS sport is concerned, this week has been a good week to be Irish – and it could be about to get a little bit better.

At 5.40pm Irish time this evening, Derval O’Rourke will take to the track in Paris for the final of the 60m hurdles at the European Indoor Athletics Championships.

The Cork woman has been in action on two occasions already today, successfully coming through both her quarter-final and her semi-final heats.

Shortly before 9am this morning, O’Rourke finished second in her quarter-final heat, recording a time of 8.07 seconds. The heat was won by Carolin Nytra of Germany in 7.96 seconds.

The Irish athlete then sealed her place in this evening’s final with a third-place finish in her semi-final, recording a season’s best time of 7.98 seconds. O’Rourke’s semi-final heat was also won by Nytra (7.94 seconds), while Alina Talai of Belarus finished in second place (7.95 seconds).

Speaking to the BBC shortly after her semi-final run, O’Rourke acknowledged that she would be up against a very competitive field in this evening’s final.

“It’s time for me to put my head down for the next two hours and think,” she said.

Going for gold

As she prepares herself for this evening’s race, O’Rourke will be hopeful that she can at least equal her performance at the 2009 European Indoor Championships in Torino. On that occasion, she came away with a bronze medal after finishing third behind Eline Berings of Belgium and Lucie Škrobáková of the Czech Republic.

Škrobáková also qualified for this evening’s final after she finished 0.02 seconds behind O’Rourke in their semi.

As she is all too aware, O’Rourke is competing against a number of fine athletes this evening, and it is likely that she will have to better her season’s best for the second time today if she is to feature in the medal positions.

Five of her fellow competitors recorded faster times than her in this afternoon’s heats. British athlete Tiffany Ofili topped the pile, winning today’s second semi-final in a time of 7.89 seconds.

Irish fans will also be keeping an eye on the progress of Donegal’s Darren McBrearty. He runs in the first heat of the men’s 800m at 3.55pm this afternoon.

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About the author:

Niall Kelly

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