Sonia O’Sullivan’s silver in Sydney, home workouts a boost for fitness industry

The Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Sonia O’Sullivan won 5,000m silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Photograph: Patrick Bolger/Inpho

Sonia O’Sullivan won 5,000m silver at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Photograph: Patrick Bolger/Inpho

This morning our series of Irish Times writers’ favourite sporting moments continues, with Ian O’Riordan recalling Sonia O’Sullivan’s 5,000m silver medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. O’Sullivan’s silver - the first track medal in history won by an Irish woman - followed a famous 400m gold for Cathy Freeman and came on a night when Michael Johnson and Haile Gebrselassie also topped the podium. O’Riordan writes: “O’Sullivan chases hard, her Olympic dream suddenly alive again, and crazily they go neck and neck all the way down the home stretch - Go, Go, Go! - until Szabo just about nails it, in 14:40.79, with O’Sullivan falling .23 of a second short. Not that it matters: O’Sullivan becomes the first Irishwoman in history to win an Olympic medal on the track, and deservedly celebrates with a lap of honour, the tricolour in one hand, a furry wombat in the other, exactly as Freeman gets her gold medal on the podium. The best night of athletics forever!”

The coronavirus crisis has had a detrimental effect on businesses around the world, but one industry which has benefited from the global pandemic is the home fitness industry. With people now limited to exercising within a 2km radius of their home - and with gyms and swimming pools all closed - some fitness companies have experienced a surge in online sales. Fitness Equipment Ireland are one of those companies whose online business is booming, as Ruadhri Croke writes in this morning’s Pay For Play column: “In the run-up to Christmas, the company had revenues of about €50,000 in online sales for the month of November which was up on the monthly average for the year. In the month just gone they pulled in just over €450,000 in online sales, an 800 per cent increase on that month of November last year.” Meanwhile today’s Pay For Play also brings you five YouTube channels where you can see replays and repeats of classic sports matches and events - the perfect way to relax after a home workout.

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