When did you first start athletics?
I first started athletics when I was in primary school. One of my teachers, when I was 7, rang my parents and said “Your little girl is quicker than some of the boys”. So thankfully that happened because obviously my parents had no idea. They then entered me into a club and since then I’ve always always done it.
Would you be here today had that not happened?
Probably, because I loved to any sport. I think if anyone pushed me into any sport I would have loved it, but no individual sport particularly appealed to me. I don’t do any other sports but I used to play hockey and gymnastics at school.
How come you did not pursue hose sports?
Because athletics was individual and if I won the race, I won the race. However, in a hockey match it felt like someone else was making mistakes and I had to pay for them – that’s what did it for me. It’s either all on me or it’s not. And in gymnastics I was told that I was too tall – did you ever notice that most gymnasts are small?
I suppose so. Who are your favourite athletes from Ireland?
I love Roy Keane. I love his attitude. You know the Munster Rugby guys? I’d have loads of respect for them – Leinster guys too, but I’m a Munster girl! I actually follow the Irish golfers all the time – I get quite into that, always seeing what they’re doing and stuff. So any of the high-profile sports people – like Katie Taylor – I always keep an eye on.I think, being Irish, you’re always quite nationalistic and proud when everyone else is doing well.
How do you think you’ll do at the Olympics?
I think if I’m fit and healthy and everything goes well, I’ll make the final. If it happened tomorrow I definitely wouldn’t be ready.
What type of training do you do?
We train six days a week and it involves a lot of weightlifting and short running.
What about your diet?
I’m very good with my diet but right now I’ve had three weeks off and I’ve been able to eat and drink whatever I want – just wonderful. Come Monday though I’ll be very strict on what I eat. I cook everything myself from scratch, so yes I am pretty good.
What is your record for the sprint hurdle?
It’s 12.65 seconds
Would you say you’re running in Sonia O’Sullivan’s footsteps?
I’d hope so. If I achieved even 20% of what Sonia achieved in her whole career I would be a very happy girl. It’s an unbelievable career, I have nothing but admiration for her. I think that’s a big compliment for me to follow her in her footsteps and I hope I am doing a little bit of what she did.
How do you celebrate?
I generally go out and drink a few glasses of champagne and dance a lot. I don’t drink very often – we’re pretty boring, aren’t we?
Not at all! There’s plenty to do without alcohol.
If I won in London you’d probably find me at a dance floor somewhere that night.
Do you know your competition this year?
Sometimes I feel like I know them too well because there’s not even that many of us. I’m really friendly, and we all talk, and have a laugh. I know them really well – who their boyfriends are, where they train, if they’re injured. I would get along very well with them. It’s not awkward even if they win I’m happy for them and if I win they’re happy for me.
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