the special one

Celebrate Sonia O'Sullivan's birthday with a trip down memory lane

One of Ireland’s greatest ever athletes provided us with a litany of standout moments.

1993 World Championships, 1500m: Silver medal

After narrowly missing out on a medal at the Barcelona Olympics, O’Sullivan bounced back with an excellent race in Stuttgart.

China’s Liu Dong took gold but O’Sullivan dug deep to hold off the challenge of 1992 Olympic champion Hassiba Boulmerka to rack up a silver.

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1995 World Championships, 5000m: Gold medal

Two years later, O’Sullivan was back and determined to go one better. In the 5000m final, she had over two seconds to spare on Portugal’s Fernanda Ribeiro and ran superbly in front of the Gothenburg crowd to claim gold.

2000 Olympic Games, 5000m: Silver medal

O’Sullivan had a difficult relationship with Olympics Games suffering disappointment in 1992 and 1996, despite her immense international reputation.

But given her personal relationship with Australia, the 2000 Games in Sydney were always likely to offer up something uniquely special.

In what was a magnificent 5000m final, she was pipped to the gold medal by her Romanian rival Gabriela Szabo but became the first Irish track and field athlete since John Treacy in 1984 to make the podium at an Olympic Games.

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