By Mark Jones
DUBLIN — One of Ireland’s main hopes for an Olympic medal, Catherina McKiernan, has been forced to withdraw from the Sydney games due to a back injury. McKiernan, who has been plagued by injuries over the past year, was one of the leading contenders for the women’s marathon.
McKiernan ran the fastest ever debut time for the distance in Berlin in 1997 — 2 hours, 23 minutes, 44 seconds — and then went on to win the London and Amsterdam marathons in 1998. Since then she has been troubled by knee, hip and now back trouble.
On the positive side, at 30, she could still make the team for the Athens Olympics in four years time.