Olive Loughnane Wins Silver Medal at World Athletics Championships
Monday, 17 August 2009
NUI Galway has applauded the outstanding performance of one of its heroic graduates Olive Loughnane (BComm 1996) as she took the silver medal position yesterday in the 20k walk at the World Athletics Championships in Berlin. President of NUI Galway, Dr James J. Browne, commented: "We, at NUI Galway, are delighted for Olive and extend our congratulations for her perseverance and continued dedication to her training which has finally paid off with a silver medal at the World Championships". Olive Loughnane, originally from Loughrea, Co. Galway, represented NUI Galway Athletics Club from 1993 to 1995 and was selected for a Sports Award in 1996. Yesterday Olive finished 49 seconds behind defending champion and Olympic gold medallist Olga Kaniskina of Russia in a season's best of 1hr 28mins 58secs, just over a minute outside her personal best at last year's Olympic Games in Beijing. In her third Olympic Games in Beijing, Olive finished the 20k walk in seventh place (of 48 competitors) in a personal best time of 1hr 27mins 45secs, over a minute inside the Olympic record. Speaking after the race Olive said: "We didn t know what was going to happen before the race but I felt very comfortable at the start. I knew I was stronger than last year and this result was a combination of great tactics and technical support. I focused on the process, not the medal. Everything helped me a lot, good physio, good doctors, psychological training and of course my family back in Ireland that is supporting me. I promised my little daughter Eimear I was going to bring her a medal so she will be very happy. We all believed that everything was possible". Tony Regan, Head of Sport at NUI Galway, added: "Olive's achievement is one of the most deserved in Irish sport. It is a triumph of hard work, dedication and perseverance that has seen Olive deliver on the potential she showed in her early years at NUI Galway. She is a wonderful role model for all sportspeople and we are delighted to congratulate her on this remarkable success".