THE excitement was palpable at the 61st Cork City Sports last night — Olympic fever had well and truly arrived.
World-class athletes from all over the globe were in Cork for the City Sports as part of their final preparations for the London Olympic Games, which start on July 27.
Hometown favourite Robert Heffernan delighted hundreds of adoring fans at CIT as he won the men’s 3,000-metre walk before he competes at London 2012.
His wife Marian was there to support her husband as she prepares to tackle the 4×400 metres in London on August 10.
The City Sports proved the perfect tonic to increase the appetite for the Olympics, banishing the memories of the disappointment at Euro 2012 in Poland last month.
The feelgood factor was apparent from the off with large numbers of families attending.
International athletes fed off the positive energy, including former world champion gold medallist Me’lisa Barber, who took gold in the women’s 100 metres last night.
South Africa’s Cornel Fredericks was another to be cheered to the rafters as he won the men’s 400-metre hurdle.
One of the great highlights of the night came from one of Cork’s great Olympians and former world silver medallist, Olive Loughnane, who won the women’s 3,000 metres walk as she prepares to compete in her fourth consecutive Olympic Games.
The support was compounded when Cork’s legendary Olympian Sonia O’Sullivan boosted the mood to stratospheric heights by engaging with hundreds of young fans who remember the dozens of iconic memories provided during her glittering career, including the Silver Medal in the 5,000 metres at Sydney 2000.