Having ran strongly as part of the Mixed 4x400m Relay Team that made Saturday morning’s world final, Sligo’s Chris O’Donnell is now preparing to race in the individual 400m heats and build on the excellent season he has had.
The 24-year-old, who is a four-time national champion moved to joint second on the Irish All-Time list recently in Madrid when he ran a massive PB of 45.26s. Only David Gillick has ran ever ran faster.
He won his fourth national title at the end of last month in comfortable fashion clocking 46.82s and comes into the World Championships in Eugene full of confidence. O’Donnell believes consistency and remaining injury free has been key to his success.
“Every year I’ve been progressing, taking a little chunk off my PB and I’ve just done the same again this year,” O’Donnell says.
“I’m always looking to keep progressing the way I am, and I think it’s just been years and years of training accumulated together, I haven’t gotten injured once touch wood in all those years.”
O’Donnell is coached by renowned Swede Benke Blomkvist who nurtured the likes of Dai Greene and Andrew Pozzi down the years. It is clear that he has benefitted from working under Blomkvist.
“He’s very technical. He uses a lot of science and analysis. From a technical perspective I’ve improved a lot as well this year. We’ve got a really, really good training group, with three guys running 45 mid for the 400m, so we’ve been pushing each other on.”
O’Donnell’s preparation for the championships has been meticulous. On a training camp to Florida in April he took notes each day as to how he felt with the jetlag and he has used his notes since arriving in Oregon. He plans to use them again when he returns home as he looks to prepare for the European Championships as quickly as possible.
He has his eyes set on running another new PB at the championships which he believes will make him competitive.
“If I can get a PB I think that should be good enough to make a semi-final,” he says.
“I’m just looking to get through the rounds and run as fast as I can. I think if I can get a couple of PB’s I’d be very competitive.”
O’Donnell takes to the track on Sunday evening at 7:05pm Irish time for the heats where he will be looking to keep his World Championships experience going for a little while longer.
The World Athletics Championships are broadcast live on BBC TV and live streamed on the World Athletics YouTube