O'rourke off to a flyer
NERVES of tungsten have always helped Derval O'Rourke peak for major championships and that quality was in evidence yesterday as the Leevale sprint hurdler cruised through her opening heat in a season-best time of 12.88 seconds, WRITES CLIONA FOLEY.
Germany's Carolin Nytra, the fastest woman in Europe with 12.57 this year, was second in 12.89.
Ireland's 2006 silver medallist came into the Barcelona games under the radar -- only ranked 11th after a disrupted season -- but her brilliant opener was the equivalent of a vuvuzela blast that will have seriously rattled her rivals.
When she raced on this track last month, O'Rourke was disqualified for a rare false start; so just how does she consistently produce her best at 'majors'?
"I never take more than a day off before (grand prix) races and then I come to a championship and I rest up a lot," she said. "We always have a plan so I don't get too depressed by statistics or any of that stuff.
"I wanted to start off well but not actually 'eyeballs out' so I'm actually quite happy."
O'Rourke had a bad fall last month that really knocked her confidence, but she was back buzzing with it again yesterday.
"I am quietly confident that it is starting to come together but there are a lot of girls out there who can run 12.80, so you need to be running 12.70 in the semi and then in the final just run like hell."