DUBLIN — There was a setback last weekend for Sonia O’Sullivan as she prepares to defend here European 5,000 and 10,000 meters titles next month. Competing in a 5,000 meters race in Brussels, Belgium, O’Sullivan could only finish third in a disappointing time of 15 minutes, 18.07 seconds.
Despite the wet conditions, it was still a poor performance given that O’Sullivan had a time of 14.50 in mind. With her main rivals Romania’s Gabriela Szabo and Paula Radcliffe of England in impressive form, the Irish athlete’s chances of double gold at the European Championships in Munich, Germany, appear to be receding.
Meanwhile, Mark Carroll almost certainly won’t be attempting to improve on his 5,000 meters bronze medal of four years ago when he missed his last opportunity to run a qualifying time at the Brussels meeting. Carroll reportedly missed his flight to Belgium.