Sarah Lavin produced a performance of a lifetime in Madrid over the weekend and looks set to win a seat on the plane to Tokyo Olympics.
On Saturday night, the Limerick athlete became only the second Irish woman in history to break 13 seconds for 100m hurdles. She clocked 12.95 to finish second at the World Continental Tour event.
Lavin cut 0.24 seconds off her previous personal best having qualified from her semi-final with a time of 13.2 seconds. She follows only Derval O’Rourke in running under 13 seconds.
It puts Lavin in strong contention for a place in the Irish team next month, with this time expected to push her high in the Olympic rankings. She arrived into this weekend placed number 43rd in the 100m hurdle rankings, with the top 40 qualifying for the Games. This is expected to increase to 35th place.
?Sub 13 seconds club?
Sarah Lavin became only the second Irish women in history to break 13 seconds over 100m hurdles ?
The Emerald AC athlete posted a 12:95 PB yesterday in the #ContinentalTour Meet Final in Madrid to join Derval O’Rourke in running under 13 seconds?????? pic.twitter.com/f8udU7MZIZ
— Athletics Ireland (@irishathletics) June 20, 2021
Sarah Lavin has been in impressive form all year and has been continuously smashing her personal best records, overcoming several hurdles off the track to do so.
In March this year, she broke her own record for the 60m hurdles twice in a matter of days at the European Indoor Championships. Her previous times included 8.14 and 8.13, but in Madrid she shaved seven hundredths of a second off and crossed the line in 8.06. Only Derval o Rourke has run faster with a time of 7.84.
Her winning form started in 2013 when she became a European U20 Silver Medallist. However, injuries meant several setbacks in her Olympic quest. In June 2016, she suffered a stress facture in her foot. The injury would later see Lavin developing the condition known as relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S).
At the end of February 2020, she had a complete tear of three different ligaments in her ankle. Since then, she has spent the time working on her speed and has ran numerous personal bests.
It’s been a long time coming for Lavin but she finally looks set to compete in an Olympic Games.