Athletics: O'Rourke flies to Norway in bid to sharpen up for shot at World Indoors
DERVAL O'ROURKE flies out to Norway today in a bid to get race- sharp for the World Indoor Championships next month.
Worries were raised about her readiness for Doha when a bout of illness, which necessitated antibiotics, forced Ireland's 2006 World Indoor hurdles champion to pull out of the Birmingham Grand Prix last Saturday, but coach Sean Cahill remains hopeful it was only a temporary setback.
"She has recovered perfectly and did some really decent training on Monday and Wednesday, which indicated everything is fine," said Cahill who, with wife Terri, coached the Leevale star to a European Indoor bronze this time last year followed by her fourth place at the World Championships.
Her only problem now is getting in enough competitive races before the World Indoors, which take place from March 12-14.
She has been hindered already by the cancellation of several events in a year which has seen athletics, like everything else, affected by the worldwide recession.
That explains why O'Rourke is making the far-from-ideal trip to Norway for tomorrow's Floro Indoor meeting and she is hopeful of getting in another race there next week.
David Gillick's blistering form in Birmingham indicated that he's certainly in medal form for Qatar and Ireland's other outstanding 400m talent, Tallaght's Brian Gregan, has confirmed that he is also going to Doha.
Gregan, who turned 20 on December 31, won the Irish 400m title when Gillick opted for the 200m last summer.
Dunleer AC's 41st Coca-Cola Ras na hEireann takes place in Oldbridge, Drogheda on Sunday and features senior international teams from Poland, USA and Finland as well as home runners like Thomas Chamney and Alan O'Brien.
Juvenile races start at noon, the senior internationals start at 2.20 and there is even a 2km Fit4Life fun run at 3.30.
The Ulster qualifiers for the All-Ireland Schools Cross-Country Championships, which are being hosted by Cork IT on March 13, have been refixed for next Wednesday, while Munster's finals are at CIT today.