It has been a year of change for Carlow man Marcus Lawler.
The 27-year-old Clonliffe Harriers athlete is primarily a 200m runner but has dabbled in the 400m this year.
At the start of 2022 he changed coach, leaving his mother Patricia, herself a former International sprinter to join Wexford man Shane McCormack’s stable.
Lawler has noticed changes but says that the all-important athlete/coach relationship so far has been “good overall.”
“I was at a place in my career where I thought I needed a change, I needed to do something to better myself,” Lawler admits.
“He’s been very welcoming; the group have been very welcoming, and training has been going well.
“His modes of training are probably different to what I’m used to, I’m on the bike a little bit more for example.”
Lawler has ran a number of good 400m races this year, winning a silver medal at the National Senior Championships at the end of June but believes his bread and butter still remains the 200m, the event which he competes in at the European Championships this morning.
“Right now, I’m a 200m runner,” he insists.
“I suppose that (running 400m) kicked off around the indoors where we decided to kind of experiment with the 400m.
“One thing led to another, and I ended up doing another race and another race and I kept getting faster and faster over the distance.
“The plan was then to fully focus in on the 200m for outdoor season, but I obviously had a slight hamstring issue.”
Lawler looks back on his performance at the European Championships in 2018 as he heads into Munich.
“It’s my third Europeans now so I won’t be going out looking for experience anymore.
“It’s a little bit different but things are good, I’m happy.
“I probably haven’t hit the heights of my PB, and my seasons best is 20.75s which is also ranked a little bit down the list,” he adds.
“I’m going into Munich in kind of a different place than I would have been going into Berlin in 2018.
“I suppose heading into that championships, I was going in with a big PB and probably thought I could get close to a final.
“I got a very rude awakening, and I was gone in the first round.”
Marcus Lawler optimistic about his chances
Despite not being quite where he would like to be in terms of times this season, the IT Carlow graduate is optimistic about his chances.
“I’m quietly confident that I can deliver a good performance.
“I won’t be looking beyond round one and hopefully I’ll get a really, really good performance in round one, and take it round by round and race by race.”
Lawler is also part of the 4x100m squad but his full focus this morning will be on the 200m.
When Marcus Lawler steps out onto the track at the Olympiastadion at 11:30am both his mother and girlfriend Muireann will be in the crowd.
He will be hoping to do himself, his family, friends, coach, and training partners proud as he continues to push to get back to the level he was once at. Munich will no doubt be a solid step in the right direction to getting back there.
The European Athletics Championships are live on RTÉ and BBC