One of the world's fastest women will take to the track at the University of Limerick (UL) tomorrow, 22-year-old American Gabby Thomas the undoubted main attraction at the international athletics match between UL and a combined team from Harvard and Yale.
Thomas was one of the break-out stars of global sprinting last year, the Harvard student storming to the NCAA indoor 200m title in 22.38 and clocking a blazing 22.19 at the London Diamond League. Since going pro she has lowered her 100m PB to 11.10, while she also has a wind-assisted 10.99 to her name.
The inter-collegiate match, typically held every four years, was the brainchild of Professor Michael Hayes, a driving force of athletics at UL for many years. He first initiated the competitions with Ivy League universities while based at the University of Birmingham in the 1960s, a practice he continued when relocating to Limerick in the late '90s.
UL's team will be strengthened with local athletes, while Harvard and Yale will join forces to compete against the hosts in the team event - the sixth such meeting between the universities. The event gets under way at 1pm tomorrow.