“My real goal is to win a major medal” – Lavin ambitious as she looks ahead to future

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“Come September/October I’ll take it in, for now it’s just, to be honest, overwhelming disappointment because I know, my coach knows… It’s easy to say ‘coulda, shoulda’ but you need to do it. I will definitely learn a lot from this.”

Sarah Lavin has just failed to make the Semi-Finals at the Olympics and was giving her immediate reaction to David Gillick on RTÉ with thousands at home getting up overnight to watch the Limerick woman in action.

Nearly a year on from the disappointment of Tokyo she feels she is nearly over it however she’s still not satisfied with her performance on the day.

“It’s still gnawing away at me,” Lavin admits.

“You don’t want to be a loser; you want to be a winner and you want to keep getting better.”

Since Tokyo, Lavin’s career has continued on an upward trajectory. The 28-year-old made her first ever final at a major championships at the World Indoors in Belgrade in March running a PB of 7.97s in the 60m Hurdles to make the final.

She is now focused on what promises to be a busy summer with both the World and European Championships on the horizon but first she competes in three meets in Europe within the next week.

Lavin will compete in two World Continental Tour Gold meets starting in Bydgoszcz, Poland on Friday before travelling to the FBK Games in Hengelo, The Netherlands on Monday. Samorin in Slovakia is the venue for Lavin’s race next Thursday which is a silver level meet.

“The beauty at the moment is that I’m just looking for a fast time, so I’m praying for good conditions, hot tracks, slight tailwinds, hopefully all of them will cooperate with me,” she said.

Lavin has already ran fast times this season, her 13.00s clocking in Germany last week was her second fastest time ever, impressively coming on a night when conditions “weren’t amazing” for fast sprint hurdling.

“I was a bit surprised, but Noelle (Morrisey, her coach) wasn’t, she said not to come home without a 12.9s and of course I came home one hundredth short.”

The European Championships in Munich this August are the main target for Lavin, but she is also hoping for a strong performance at the World Championships in Eugene, Oregon in July. At the Olympics last summer Lavin placed 32nd and is hoping for an improvement.

“I want to be in the European final, once you’re in the final that’s where everything is up for grabs. From a World Championship perspective, I sure as hell want to get out of the heat and improve. Looking at my performance from Tokyo last year I need to improve on that.”

While Lavin is ambitious, she knows the limits as to what she can achieve this summer.

“I could sit in front of you and say I want to win a medal at the two of them, but I have to be realistic. You know, right now, my PB is 12.95s. I’m going to need a 12.7s to achieve what I really want to and that’s a big ask,” she said.

Noelle Morrissey is the woman Lavin is putting her trust in to guide her to her targets. The pair have an incredibly strong relationship, with Morrissey coaching Lavin since she started in the sport in her early years. Sarah is full of praise for her coach.

“My coach Noelle is doing a really, really, good job and we’re adjusting to where I’m at all the time in our training. We’re improving every week and I have a goal every single week and every session. I’m working hard to go where I want to go.”

What is Lavin’s ultimate goal?

“My real goal is to win a major medal and that’s the bottom line. I don’t know if it can happen this year, but I sure hope it can happen in the next few years.”

In pursuit of that goal Lavin remains very critical of herself, however, has learned to enjoy the aspects that come with being a full-time athlete travelling around the world on the circuit.

“I think I was very, very critical as a youngster but I still am, that’s just my nature. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve learned to enjoy every aspect of getting to travel, getting to the competition, and finding more enjoyment in the whole thing rather than just focusing on the outcome of every race.”

When she returns from her travels across Europe later this month Lavin will turn her focus to the 150th addition of the Irish Life Health National Senior Track and Field Championships which take place at Morton Stadium in the last weekend of June. All of Lavin’s family including her siblings and godmother will travel to Dublin for the weekend.

“I find it a very tense weekend because it is pressurised, but I really enjoy it. I think this year there’s a really good standard across the board so there’ll be some really spicy races,” Lavin added.


Sarah Lavin was speaking at the launch of the 150th edition of the Irish Life Health National Track and Field Championships which will take place in Morton Stadium on June 25 and 26, 2022. For more information on the Irish Life Health Track and Field Championships please visit

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