By Mark Jones
DUBLIN – Ireland’s favorite for a gold medal at next month’s Sydney Olympics, Sonia O’Sullivan, has confirmed that she will be concentrating on the 5,000 meters in Australia. However, O’Sullivan will allow her name to remain among the entries for the 10,000 meters.
Following discussions with her coach, Alan Storey, O’Sullivan explained her decision to go for the shorter distance.
"I’m happy about the way I’m running and a after a few more races, I should be sharp and ready to go," O’Sullivan said. "The 10,000 is there as a fallback, nothing more. The 5,000 is my main focus, and since nobody has been selected for the 10,000, I’m not keeping anybody off the Irish team."
O’Sullivan was speaking after she completed an 800- and 1,500-meter double at the Irish National championships at Santry. She took the 800 in 2:04.71 in her first run over the distance in three years and then cruised to victory in the 1,500 with a time of 4:09.37.
Susan Smith-Walsh, also Sydney bound, landed a double in the 100- and 400-meter hurdles and then announced she would be retiring after the Olympics.
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Meanwhile, Mark Carroll was a convincing winner of the 5,000 in a comfortable 13:55.76, while Terry McHugh won the javelin for a remarkable 17th year in a row with a throw of 80.27 meters.