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Peak Of Form Or A Steep(le) Hill To Climb: Michelle Finn Talks PB’s And Olympic Expectations


That’s how Cork native and 3000m steeplechaser Michelle Finn felt when her second scheduled Olympics was postponed a year in 2020.

Little did the now 31-year-old know the 365 days to follow were to be the fastest and most impressive of her career to date. Shaving over nine seconds off her PB within that span and moving to 2nd in the all-time Irish list, she’s now just one second off Roisin McGettigan’s national record.

“I had just put a lot into the 2020 Olympics, but I think it did favor a lot of Irish athletes to have an extra year” she says.

“Even though I was in a good position last time, it actually has kind of clicked for me more this year.”

“I think I’ve been like training really well for like a good few years now and I probably should have run a better PB sooner. So, the nine seconds looked bigger than what it felt like to me, but it was just really good to get.”

The apex of amateur sport, Finn describes the age-old quadrennial competition as the “main goal” for any athlete and so qualifying this time around “was almost a bigger deal than the PBs.”

Having ran at Rio in 2016, the experience won’t be a new one to the qualified PE and Irish teacher, although it may be just as valued in a more cutthroat field.

Watch the full pre-Olympics interview here with Michelle Finn. Subscribe to Her Sport’s YouTube channel for more videos, follow us on Instagram, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for the latest sporting news and content.

“I think the steeple chase was a little bit easier to qualify for last time round” she says.

“The event has definitely moved on, so it’s kind of nice to have moved on with the event.”

Not reaching the heights she would have aspired to five years ago Finn is hopeful she will “do a bit better this time around” but is keeping her intentions far from outlandish.

“I’m going to just run as well as I can and as hard as I can, and just feel like I’ve done my best” she says.

“9:30, any other year I think would’ve made the final, but I just think the event has moved on this year so to make the final I definitely would have to run a PB.”

“I think it’s a lot to ask but I don’t think it’s unachievable.”

Michelle Finn will be in action on Sunday the 21st of August at 1:40 am Irish time. Her full interview with HerSport can be viewed here.

Alanna Cunnane

Alanna is a Journalism student in Dublin City University and is passionate about all sport - in particular Ladies Football and Soccer! Alanna has made contributions to Ocean FM, the Final Whistle, the Sligo Champion and the Connacht Telegraph! She even has hosts her own podcast called 'Are You Still Listening?'
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