O'Rourke focused on next race


Olympic-hopeful hurdler Derval O’Rourke said she is focusing on her next competition - the World Indoor Championships in Istanbul – rather than the Olympic Games.

After a foot injury curtailed training for a week, O’Rourke is running again and concentrating on the championships in Turkey in three weeks time.

“Broadly I know the Olympics is the key, but I also know I have loads of events leading up to it,” O’Rourke said. “But I have to not get too excited; it’s still six months away.”

Although indoor hurdling is different from outdoors, with just five hurdles instead of ten, O’Rourke maintains indoor racing is good preparation.

“Indoors is just over 50 per cent of your outdoor race, so if you nail that and you run really well, you’re going into outdoors really ready,” she said.

She declined to state her specific goals for the Olympic Games, saying her main aim was to run well. "I hope to leave the London Olympics after running a national record. I'd be pretty happy with that."

Asked about the prospects for the Irish Olympic team, O’Rourke said those competing in track and field would challenge for medals.

She added that Katie Taylor was a serious contender for a medal and said the Irish sailing team, and in particular Annalise Murphy, were rated very highly.

“I think Annalise could really pull off something special,” O’Rourke said. “We don’t have any guarantees of anything, [but] hopefully a little bit of magic happens in London for the athletics team.”

Aside from training, O’Rourke has been promoting “Bring on the Pros,” a new competition from the National Dairy Council.

The competition gives secondary schools, colleges and sports clubs a chance to win a prize of O’Rourke, or rugby player Rob Kearney, as their coach for a day.