Park win serves notice for Paris

 

Athletics Dublin Grand PrixAnother world class performance by Gillian O'Sullivan saw her win the women's 20km at the Dublin Grand Prix of Race Walking on Saturday, an event that also doubled as the Irish championships. Her time of one hour 29 minutes, 22 seconds was her fourth sub-1:30 time this season and confirms her status as a medal contender for next month's World Championships in Paris.

Despite the warm, sunny conditions at the Phoenix Park, the pace was brisk from the start and after just 2km O'Sullivan had pulled clear of her compatriot Olive Loughnane as well as Turkey's Yeliz Ay and German Andrea Meloni. The Kerry athlete continued to extend her lead until the finish to collect her fifth successive Irish title.

"I'm delighted with that performance," she said, "and as I'm back in very heavy training for Paris it is very satisfying to break 1.30 again this year, particularly on tired legs."

For Loughnane, whose younger sister Ann had last week won silver at the walking event at the IAAF World Youth Championships in Sherbroke, a knee injury forced her withdrawal from the race at 4km.

The men's 20km race went to Italy's former world champion Michele Didoni in 1:21.44. Irish hope Jamie Costin took sixth in 1:28.46.