Friday 26 December 2014

Derval O’Rourke announces retirement after record breaking career

Published 23/06/2014 | 10:22

Derval O'Rourke
Derval O'Rourke
12 February 2012; Derval O'Rourke, Leevale A.C., Co. Cork, after winning the Senior Women's 60m Hurdles Final at the Woodies DIY Senior Indoor Athletics Championships 2012. Odyssey Arena, Belfast, Co. Antrim. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Derval O'Rourke
O'Rourke representing Europe
Derval O'Rourke. Photo: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile
Derval O'Rourke. Photo: Sportsfile
Derval O'Rourke, Leevale AC, on her way to winning the senior women's 60m hurdles final at the National Indoor Championships in Belfast
Derval O'Rourke matching Susan Smith's record of eight national hurdles titles at Morton Stadium.
Derval O'Rourke watches the scoreboard after finishing fourth in the women's 100m hurdles final at the World Championships in Berlin
Derval O'Rourke celebrates winning a bronze medal
The strain shows on the face of Irelan'’s Derval O'Rourke during the semi-final of the Women's 100m Hurdles at The Olympic Stadium in London - O'Rourke finished fifth but failed to make the final

Former World Champion, multiple Irish record holder and three time Olympian, Derval O’Rourke has announced her retirement from athletics.

The Cork athlete has been one of Ireland’s greatest ever athletes, winning 5 Championship medals, including being crowned World Champion.

The Leevale athlete, whose final championship race was a bronze medal at the 2013 European Indoor Championships, has decided to hang up her spikes after 12 years competing at the highest level in world and European athletics. 

O’Rourke ran all her Irish records at major championships in the green vest, her focus was always to compete at her best in championships.  The Cork hurdler also has the distinction of qualifying and competing at every major outdoor championship from 2002 to 2012.

“I’ve had an absolutely amazing career in athletics and for that I am so grateful to all the support I have received along the way,” she said. 

“It’s been a tough decision but it feels like the right time.  I knew I could compete this season, but not in a time to be in medal contention by European Outdoors. Going to a Championships just to be there, isn’t me.”    

“The last competitive race I ran was the bronze medal I won last year at European Indoors and I feel like that was a great performance. 

“I’ve been extremely lucky with the team I’ve had around me, Sean and Terrie Cahill are the rock that my success has been built on. 

“Together we forged a way to be successful on a world stage and I’m incredibly grateful for their focus, passion and dedication. 

“I’ve loved every minute of my athletics career but now I’m going to take some time to reflect what has been a very privileged job for me for the past 12 years and make some decisions for the future” O’Rourke said.       

The three-time Olympian is the Irish Senior Record holder at 50m, and 60m indoor hurdles and the 100m outdoor hurdles.

Derval O’Rourke Achievements

•           Gold – 60m Hurdles - World Indoor Championships 2006 (Moscow)

•           Silver – 100m Hurdles - European Championships 2006 (Gothenburg)

•           Silver – 100m Hurdles - European Championships 2010 (Barcelona)

•           Bronze – 60m Hurdles - European Indoor Championships 2009 (Turin)

•           Bronze – 60m Hurdles - European Indoor Championships 2013 (Gothenburg)

•           Fourth – 100m Hurdles - World Championships 2009 (Berlin)

•           3 time Irish Olympian – Athens 2004, Beijing 2008, London 2012

•           Represented Europe at the IAAF Continental Cup in 2010

Irish Senior Record Holder:

•           50m Hurdles Indoor        (6.80 – Lievin 2006)

•           60m Hurdles Indoor        (7.84 – Moscow 2006)

•           100m Hurdles Outdoor   (12.65 – Barcelona 2010)

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