Galligan on course for the Worlds

by Stephen Findlater

Rose-Anne Galligan is looking forward to her first world championships after she produced a stunning 800m run at the Diamond League in London last weekend to qualify for Moscow.

She smashed Sonia O’Sullivan’s Irish record in the process with a run of 2.00.58 seeing her shave 0.11 of a second off the Cobh woman’s time set back in 1994 in St Petersburg.

Galligan finished in second place in a top quality field in the Olympic Stadium, a mark that achieved the B-standard for the world championships which take place later this month into the bargain.

Speaking about her run a day later at the Irish national championships in Morton Stadium, she said she knew this type of run was in the pipeline.

“It was amazing. I didn’t actually see the time straight away but I knew I was under the 2.01 so I was running around frantically trying to find out what my exact time was,” she said.

“I’ve had other runs where I ran 2.01 but ran wide on bends so I knew it was there. It was just a matter of getting in the right race and doing the minimum distance and it just happened.”

She returned to Ireland to compete in the nationals to try and get some speed training in, racing in the 400m in which she came fifth on Sunday in a time off 55.48.

Galligan started her athletics career in Clondalkin as part of the community games team from the area before relocating to Newbridge in whose colours she now runs.

O’Sullivan, meanwhile, believes Galligan can improve even more at the world championships when they come around.

“Rose-Anne will now be able to really go for that two-minute barrier because she has the comfort of the record,” said O’Sullivan.

“I was lucky to ever hold the 800m record. I only took it from Caroline O’Shea by one hundredth of a second and it’s amazing that it lasted so long.

“There is every chance the record will be broken again this year. Rose-Anne’s run may not open the floodgates but it might, at least, turn into a fast-flowing river.

“Hopefully now that it’s been broken it will encourage more athletes and will result in progress being made and, hopefully, an Irish female finally breaking two minutes for the 800m.

“I always wanted to run below two minutes for 800m. It will be like the first sub-four-minute mile. If one Irish person can do it, others will follow,” she said.

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