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Sonia steps out with daughter for park run SOLE MATES: Sonia O'Sullivan, her daughter Sophie (in the pink hat) and St Brigid's NS pupils run in the Phoenix Park

IT could be a case of like mother like daughter for athlete Sonia O'Sullivan.

The former world champion and Olympic silver medallist remains Ireland's most successful female athlete, and its looks like her love of running has rubbed off on her children.

The mum of two will be on the sidelines tomorrow to carry out commentary for RTE during The Great Ireland Run in the Phoenix Park.

But there will be a family representative in the famed race – her daughter Sophie (12) is taking part in the junior competition.


"The last time that Sophie was at the Great Ireland Run was in 2006 (aged four), so she's a lot older this time," O'Sullivan told the Herald.

"I would love to take part, but I'm going to be busy trying to explain to everyone watching RTE what's going on."

Australia-based O'Sullivan, who gets back to Ireland as often as she can, stays busy with her charity work as well as looking after Sophie and other daughter Ciara.

"They're involved in sports in school and on the weekend in Australia, but it's not just athletics, they enjoy basketball and they do a bit of running too," she said.

However, the 44-year-old said she would love to do more sports commentary.

"I'm hoping to cover the European Championships this summer because I really enjoy it, but unfortunately there isn't that much of it available," she said.

While O'Sullivan is taking a back seat at this year's Great Ireland Run, Wicklow woman Fionnuala Britton is going for gold in the elite section of the competition.

More than 12,000 people of all ages and fitness levels have entered the event.

O'Sullivan described two-time European cross country champion Britton as "absolutely fantastic".

"I think Fionnuala is brilliant for what she has done for female athletics and what she has won," she said.

And Britton said she never fails to feel the nerves.

"You get nervous before every race, and the more something is talked about the bigger it seems," she told the Herald. "It's great being able to run at home with all the Irish support behind you and alongside a lot of your friends."