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Dublin: 6 °C Monday 17 February, 2020

'A dream come true for her' - Sonia O'Sullivan thrilled with daughter Sophie's European silver medal

16-year-old Sophie O’Sullivan won silver in the 800m final at the U18s European Championships in Hungary.

Sophie O’Sullivan celebrates her European silver medal success with her mother Sonia.
Sophie O’Sullivan celebrates her European silver medal success with her mother Sonia.
Image: Sasa Pahic Szabo/INPHO

SONIA O’SULLIVAN has described daughter Sophie’s success at the U18 European Championships in Hungary as “a dream come true” after the teenager claimed a silver medal in the 800m final in Hungary.

Sophie O’Sullivan produced an impressive run on Saturday evening in Győr, with her finishing time of 2:06.05 coming in just behind winner Keely Hodgkinson of Great Britain who clocked up a time of 2:04.84.

It was the runner’s first appearance at a major athletics championship, with mother Sonia expressing her delight afterwards despite some pre-race nerves.

“I was a little bit nervous, but I think I was more nervous for the semi-final. She doesn’t want to miss out, so I knew that she just wanted to be in the final,” she said.

“I told her tonight: ‘everybody is ranked number eight right now, so every person you finish ahead of is a bonus’.

“I knew she was going to run really well. I didn’t know what the result would be, her dad asked me this afternoon how I thought she would do, and I didn’t answer him because I didn’t want to be making predictions.

I just knew that the 800m’s is one of those races that if you’re in a good position and are a competitive person, then anything can happen.

“I knew that if Sophie was within range of the top three, she would make sure she got a medal. I’m just delighted for her and am really, really happy.

“There was no pressure or expectation, I just wanted her to go out there, run her best and walk off the track happy.

“She couldn’t be happier and is delighted with her performance tonight.”

O’Sullivan will present her daughter with the silver medal later today, and said that the teenager’s first involvement with the Irish team at a major championships had been a tremendous experience.

To be part of the team out here is just fantastic. All the girls have been really welcoming to Sophie, this is her first Irish team.

“She only knows the girls the past couple of weeks and they’ve all been really nice to her and she’s had a fantastic time. It’s been brilliant and hopefully there’s many more years to come.

“It’s a huge bonus to come away with a medal in her first championships.

“It’s just fantastic and is a dream come true for her.”

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Sophie O’Sullivan wins 800m silver medal for Ireland at the European Championships

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Aaron Gallagher

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