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Superfit Katie's a tonic for all of us

And having struggled to even jab at the air (it probably looked more like pathetic pawing) without stopping for a full minute and a half, it struck me just how fit Katie Taylor must be.

The Olympic hopeful is just off to China for an important qualifier and in a country like ours where female sport figures are rare, it would be difficult to argue that someone like Katie is anything less than an inspiration to all young people, particularly girls.

You'd think.

Not so, according to professor Donal O'Shea, who's making all the wrong headlines as he whips up what can only be described as a storm in a sports sipper over Katie's involvement with her energy drink sponsors.

O'Shea claims that Katie's adverts send out the wrong message and will have children thinking they need to guzzle sugary drinks in order to get some exercise.

Well, as a parent charged with the hourly task of trying to pry four children's faces off various electronic screens, let me be the first to blow the nutty professor's theory right out of the isotonic water.

Tell a kid to get out and get some exercise and if they say "Oh, I'll be needing an expensive sports drink then," the only reasonable response should be a running kick to the rear end to help them out the door.

Fact is, if youngsters aspired to a fraction of the exercise that someone like Katie promotes, then we should be as happy to have them gargle Golden Syrup.

And had Katie been sponsored for her Olympic bid by a company making toffee lollipops, this father would be the first to order an entire caseload if it meant the kids would hit the running track.

You don't need to be a professor to realise that an athlete of Katie's calibre can do nothing but good -- and the best of luck to her in the heroic physical challenges she faces shortly.

We wish her nothing but sweet, sweet success.