Sonia O'Sullivan sets World Best (© Getty Images Allsport)
Portsmouth, England Ireland’s Sonia O'Sullivan who is preparing for the Great North Run Half Marathon in Newcastle on 6 October, decimated the World best for 10 Miles when winning the BUPA Great South Run in Portsmouth, England.
O'Sullivan, the European 5,000 and 10,000m silver medallist in Munich last month, showed she meant business from the start, going through the first mile in four minutes 57secs, eventually winning in 51 minutes exactly, bettering by 16 seconds the previous best set by Colleen De Reuck in Washington four years ago.
Coming only a week after she missed the World 5km best by just two seconds when winning (14:56) the Flora Light Challenge in London’s Hyde Park, the Irish star has obviously hit a rich vein of form.
Though nothing has so far been confirmed, the speculation is that O’Sullivan, as well as preparing for the Great North Run, which she won when debuting at the Half Marathon distance in 1998, is intent on making a serious bid at the full Marathon distance at one of the major races this autumn, with the odds heavily stacked on New York (3 November) as the venue.
O’Sullivan made a none too serious debut at the Marathon in 2000 when winning the Dublin race in 2:35:40, just weeks after taking the Olympic 5000m silver medal in Sydney.
The 32-year-old Irish star will next race over 10km in Richmond, South London on Sunday 22 September, where she will face Britain’s European 10,000m champion Paula Radcliffe, who is herself preparing for her second marathon, in Chicago Marathon on 13 October. With both women presently in such fine fettle it should be a 10km to savour.