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17/10/2021

BREAKING: Kilkenny City Harriers' Cliodhna Manning gets Olympic call-up

Athlete selected in 4x400m mixed relay squad

BREAKING: Kilkenny City Harriers' Cliodhna Manning gets Olympic call-up

From injury to the international stage - Cliodhna Manning is going to the Olympics!

The Kilkenny City Harriers athlete will be packing her bags and heading to Tokyo after being selected for Ireland’s mixed 4x400m relay team. She is one of six athletes selected, along with Cillin Greene (Galway City Harriers), Chris O’Donnell (North Sligo), Phil Healy (Bandon), Robert McDonnell  (Galway City Harriers) and former St Josephs AC runner Sophie Becker, who now races with Raheny Shamrock.

“It’s very exciting,” she said. “The last week has been a rollercoaster of emotions, but I can’t wait to get going. I can’t believe I’m packing my bags and heading to Tokyo.”

Making the World Games is the final leg of what has been an incredible journey over the past year for Manning.

“I’ve had quite a few injuries the past while,” she said. “Last February, just before the start of the pandemic, I had surgery on my foot. Tokyo wasn’t even on the horizon then - it was a case of getting back training and getting back into running.”

Fast-forward a year and Manning was back in familiar territory.

“I raced in Belfast at the start of May and that was my first race in two years,” she said. “Even to get back on the start line was amazing.”

That was followed by an appearance at the National Track & Field championships in Dublin, another milestone for the Harrier.

“It was my first time running in the Nationals in three years,” she said. “I’d been injured every year since 2017 so even being competitive was amazing. To come back and be selected for the Olympics is unbelievable - it’s a dream.”

For more see next week’s Kilkenny People.

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