Cobh’s Sonia O’Sullivan to enter athletics Hall of Fame

Credit: Athletics Ireland.

Sonia O’Sullivan will be honoured at the upcoming Irish Life Health National Athletics Awards on Thursday, 28th November at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blanchardstown, Dublin, when he Cobh-born legend will be entered into the Hall of Fame.

O’Sullivan, who will celebrate her 50th birthday that day, came to national prominence as a 17-year-old in Killenaule when she won the national senior cross country title.

Since then the Irish athlete has competed at four Olympic Games, winning a silver medal in the 5,000m in Sydney in 2000. She also claimed three world titles (5,000m on the track in Gothenburg in 1995, double world cross-country gold in Marrakech in 1998), and three European gold medals on the track.

The Cork woman also won the IAAF World Athlete of the Year Award and the Golden League (now known as the Diamond League).

Meanwhile, nominations have been announced for the Irish Life Health awards, with The Athlete of Year set to be selected from the athletes named as winner of the U20, U23, Endurance and Track and Field category.

Kate O’Connor (St Gerard’s Dundalk), Sarah Healy (Blackrock) and Darragh McElhinney (UCD/Bantry) all won medals in their respective events at the European U20 Championships in Boras, Sweden. O’Connor and Healy both won silver in the heptathlon and 1,500m respectively while McElhinney won bronze in the 5,000m.

The European U23 Athletics Championships saw two more medals with Eilish Flanagan (Omagh) winning silver in the 3,000m steeplechase and Nadia Power (Dublin City Harriers) taking bronze in the 800m.

City of Lisburn’s Ciara Mageean claimed 10th place in a red hot 1,500m Final at the World Athletics Championships in Doha and a bronze medal at the European indoors in Glasgow in March.

Thomas Barr of Ferrybank and UCD’s Mark English are among the contenders for the track athlete of the year – Barr was 11th overall in the 400m hurdles standings at the World Championships while English won bronze over 800m at the European indoors.

Brendan Boyce from Finn Valley put in an inspirational performance to finish 6th in the men’s 50km race walk in the searing heat in Doha, while Fionnuala McCormack of Kilcoole was 18th in the World Cross-Country Championships and was 5th in the Chicago marathon in 2:26:47. Both of these athletes are in the category for Endurance Athlete of the Year.

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