Derval O’Rourke set a new NR (12.72) and is rewarded with the Silver medal at the European Championships in Gothenburg tonight. Derval got away to a fantastic start and led the pack for the first 30 meters until the eventual winner Suzanna Kallur passed her out, but held on to the second place by a final lunge, reminiscent of Colin Jackson’s famous dip. While originally being handed the silver place and Kirsten Bolm the bronze, an appeal was initiated by the German Federation and it has been decided to award Derval and Kirsten with a joint silver medal. The medal presentation will take place tomorrow.
The Cork athlete who is the reigning World indoor champion was clearly delighted afterwards. Having been injured back in May, Derval had questioned whether or not she would be fit to even contest this championships. Luckily though her injury worries cleared up and she came back into competitive form at the Cork City Sports in July. Since then she has come on in leaps and bounds and has continued the impressive form she showed when she took the gold medal in Moscow, lowering her PB from 12.96 to 12.72 this year and culminating now in a silver medal at the European Championships.
Derval will now look forward to competing in the 4×100m relay qualifying round tomorrow alongside Joanne Cuddihy, Anna Boyle and Ailis McSweeney. Ciara Sheehy and Emily Maher were forced to withdraw from the relay due to injuries received earlier in the championships.
Elsewhere there was disappointment for the two other female athletes competing today. Deirdre Ryan was the first to bow out of the high jump final this evening with a jump of 1:84m, well down on the 1.92m she reached to qualify for the final. Aoife Byrne ran in the 1500m semi-final this morning to finish 14th in her heat in a time of 4:16.07
Photocredit to Brendan Moran Sportsfile