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Dublin: 9 °C Thursday 17 October, 2019
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World's fastest man Usain Bolt to visit Donegal next year

Irish manager Patsy McGonagle, who receives the Freedom of Donegal County today, says one of sport’s biggest names is heading to the hills next year.

Image: Andrew Medichini/AP/Press Association Images

USAIN BOLT IS set to make his long-awaited visit to Donegal next year.

The six-time Olympic gold medallist and world record holder over 100m and 200m has spoken before of his desire to visit manager Ricky Simms’ native county.

Now Bolt looks likely to hit the hills some time in 2014, Irish athletics manager Patsy McGonagle revealed on Highland FM today.

“There’s no world championships next year and Ricky has talked to Usain so 2014 looks like the year,” he told TheScore.ie.

McGonagle will be honoured later this afternoon when he receives the Freedom of County Donegal for his services to sport. It is only the sixth time that such an award has been made, recognising his long-standing contribution as Director and Athletics Chair of Finn Valley AC as well as his work with the Irish team.

Although the details of Bolt’s visit have still to be finalised, McGonagle hopes that the presence of one of sport’s global superstars will inspire the next generation of Irish athletes.

“Priority will be local,” he explained.

This is a Finn Valley situation and a Donegal situation. I need to give it a lot of thought to be honest.

It’s going to be a massive, massive, massive challenge Usain Bolt coming here and I need to use it to the best effect for local athletics. We’ll see.

This afternoon’s civic ceremony in Lifford will be hosted by Mayor Frank McBrearty and attended by Donegal County Council members as well as the McGonagle family and friends.

“I’m delighted and I’m also very appreciative of Donegal County Council,” McGonagle said. “There has only been five people honoured in this regard with freedom awards so I’m appreciative.

“It’s also an opportunity to say thank you to family and to my friends who have supported me in the development of many things including Donegal athletics ovr the years.

“I can’t imagine myself not doing it. I pinched myself after London because I’ve done three Olympics now. I first managed an Irish team in 1992 at the World Junior Championships so I’ve been involved with Ireland for a long time. Thankfully I’ve a lot of energy still and I’m game ball to bang on.”

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Niall Kelly

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