THE parish of Lispole will wait with bated breath for news from Barcelona today as one of their own, 19 year old Emma Prendiville (pictured left), takes on the best in the world in the 10km race walk at the 2012 IAAF World Junior Championships.
Emma, of Farranfore/ Maine Valley AC, received the call up to the Irish team last Sunday week after making the qualifying time required to compete at an earlier heat held in Switzerland.
She jetted off to Barcelona with the 14 other members of the Irish team last week to prepare for today's under-20 world race walk final in the IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships which will see her compete alongside the world's top junior athletes.
Emma is the daughter of Mick and Regina Prendiville from Auglish in Lispole and is a former student at Dingle's Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne. The call up to the Irish junior athletics squad has been lauded as an amazing achievement by her peers and the sense of anticipation is palpable in her home place as Emma prepares to represent her country on the world stage.
Over the past year, Emma has been quietly carving out a name for herself in the world of athletics competing at a number of speed walk events, notably in Moscow earlier this year, before making the qualifying time required for IAAF World Championships in Barcelona.
The Kerryman spoke to Emma's mother Regina just before she boarded a plane to join her daughter in Barcelona on Monday. "It's a fantastic honour to be chosen to represent your country," said Regina, "we are all delighted for Emma and whatever happens she has done us all proud."