Joanne is true star

KILKENNY City Harriers athlete, Joanne Cuddihy is to be honoured as a sports star of the month.

KILKENNY City Harriers athlete, Joanne Cuddihy is to be honoured as a sports star of the month.

The 400m national champion booked her place at the Olympic Games in London during May when running in Japan, and she is to be honoured for that month in the Hotel Kilkenny and Kilkenny People sports star scheme.

Joanne, who also ran in the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, booked her place in London when running 51.45 at the Shizuoka international track and field meeting. The time was 0.10 seconds inside the Olympic qualifying time of 51.55.

Ms Cuddihy, who has been based in Australia for most of the year, had been running consistently close to the qualifying time all season but she surpassed the all important mark in Japan.

Earlier she took gold in the 400m final at the Australian open track and field championships where she finished in 51.69. This win was the second leg of an Australian double for Joanne, who won gold in the Melbourne track classic with a time of 52.37 seconds.

By the time the Olympics came round, Joanne Cuddihy had qualified in two events. She was also part of the Irish 4x400m relay team, the first time Ireland qualifed a team in this event, and her sister, Catriona was a reserve with the squad.

Joanne and her fellow monthly award winners will be honoured at a special banquet in Hotel Kilkenny early in the new year. Ms Cuddihy has been honoured on several occasions in the past by the Hotel Kilkenny and Kilkenny People sports stars committee.