National sprinter Phil Healy, Ballineen, ran ‘from the depths of hell’ into the headlines in 2016. She took part in our fun Q&A
Q. If you could relive one sporting moment from the past year, what would it be and why?
It has to be the 400m I ran in Belgium at the beginning of June. It was only my second 400m ever, I hadn’t trained solely for the event, and it’s one that isn’t easy to step up to. I went in with no expectations, managed to win the race and come away with being now tenth on the all-time Irish list for 400m and just one tenth off the European senior standard. Or else it would be breaking the 60m indoors’ record when I ran a PB of 7.35, breaking my previous U23 record and qualified for European senior indoor championships, which are in Serbia next march.
Q. Picture this: Olympic silver medallists Gary and Paul O’Donovan are in a 100m sprint on land – who wins and why?
If they are against each other, we will let them battle it out together. You have to love a bit of sibling rivalry in the same event, I know it all too well. Maybe Gary would want to beat Paul as he’s older and doesn’t want the younger guy winning. Paul seems so laid back, he wouldn’t care what the outcome was. If it was a race where they were up against me, well I hope for their sake that they win ... because which boy likes being beaten by a girl!
Q. What will you miss most about 2016?
Being 21 and having finished another year of college. I’m one step closer to the real world ...
Q. Describe Conor McGregor in one word:
Q. Outside of your sport, what sporting moment from 2016 captured your imagination?
It has to be the Olympic rowers and the publicity they gave the sport. I attend the National Rowing Centre to see my physio when down from Dublin, so I see how early they are on the water, how hard they work in the gym and the dedication that is required. Now the two lads, Gary and Paul, along with Sinead Jennings have made the sport so well known for all the right reasons. It’s appearing in headlines, events are getting coverage and long term that will have huge benefits.
Q. What local sports star should we keep an eye on next year?
Athletics wise, it’s Darragh McElhinney from Glengarriff.
Q. Any advice to get over the January blues?
Don’t make goals that won’t be achieved and be realistic. Make small changes to improve each day, and overall each day will add up. Whether it’s a change to your own day, or making someone else’s better, something small can make a massive difference.
Q. Finish the sentence: In 2017 I want to ….
achieve each of the goals I set out at the beginning of the winter season for the coming year and graduate from college in the post grad that I’m studying.