IRISH HURDLER Derval O’Rourke admits she was left disappointed by the decision by the Irish Sports Council to dramatically cut her funding this year.
The Cork-born athlete saw her grant drop by €28,000 from the top band of Irish athletes to just €12,000 for 2013. The decision was made public not long after the Leevale star came within a whisker of medalling at the European Indoors in Sweden.
“I’ve known since December so I’ve had time to get used to it I guess,” O’Rourke said in an interview broadcast on RedFM’s BigRedBench last night. “Part of me did feel like ‘okay go out and if you run really well at European Indoors maybe it’ll be reviewed. They did indicate to me that no matter how well I ran at European Indoors they probably wouldn’t review. But I thought no surely they’d have to review it if I ran certain times.
“But yeah, of course it’s totally disappointing. I find it hard not to take it personally because it looks like that’s the opinion of my athletics and where I’m at. I don’t believe that’s where I’m at because the time I ran at European Indoors would have medalled last year at World Indoors.
“So you know, it is what it is. I could sit around and get completely depressed about it or it’s only a few months to World Outdoors in August and the way I’m looking at it I’ve sat down and I’ve looked at everything and I just want to prepare for Worlds and not look beyond that. I’m going to go for Moscow and throw the kitchen sink at it and try not to worry about it.
A photo-finish in Stockholm. (photo via Sportresult)
O’Rourke said the decision was explained to her late last year.
“They said to me they were sticking exactly to the criteria that was set down. But for my grant they haven’t stuck to the criteria in about four years but they’ve had me on the top one. The criteria that they have is very, very tough for track and field. They’ve always made me an exception, I guess.
“And this year they said well we’re not doing this any more, we’re sticking to the exact criteria. And I was injured at the World Indoors in 2011 so I had no championship performance in 2011 to justify it being any higher. So they explained that to me.”
Asked about the talk about the Turkish athlete who pipped her to the line in Stockholm, Nevin Yanit, O’Rourke added: ”I’m not sure, there’s been a lot of rumours and speculation so that result might change in the next few weeks.”