DSD’s Síofra Cléirigh Büttner is representing Ireland at the Tokyo Olympics! What an honour for her and for us, her Club!
John Ives, our man in London, brings us along Síofra’s journey to Tokyo and makes use of a route familiar to DSDers - the run from Marlay up Kilmashogue to Three Rock.
Watching DSD’s Síofra Cléirigh Büttner winning underage national titles at a canter, it didn't require the keenest of athletic talent spotters to say, "there's a future Olympian". Yet the road to the top is rarely smooth. If you'll allow some poetic licence here, picture one of the Club's key training routes - Marlay Park to the top of Three Rock!
Síofra's underage titles - the smooth tarmac of Kilmashogue Lane, with fresh legs, every challenge is met with ease.
The step up to the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) at Villanova - the sharp inclines as you turn off Kilmashogue Lane onto the gravel path, now the challenge appears somewhat daunting.
The path flattening as you come out of the forest - Síofra finding success at Penn Relays and placing at NCAA Championships - achievements with which most would call it a day and head for home.
Sharp S bends where the gradient pitches up - onto regular selections for Ireland at World and European Championships, finalist at World Student Games, national titles - continued progress but every step is hard fought!
Having come this far you can't turn around. Now for the long straight grind. Always a headwind. The summit within view - a superb indoor season, National record, new Club record over 1500m, selection for European indoors.
The summit is reached but only to reveal more road to climb - Covid!
2021 outdoor season - the mad scramble for World ranking points or the automatic standard. A system no one understands. Races in the US. Races in Europe. Is it enough?
Up the final pitch to the barrier, turn right the gradient eases, summit within reach - National Championships. Top 2 across the line probably book the ticket to Tokyo. Three big names, two from DSD – Georgie Hartigan a metre or two behind Síofra. Siofra bags second place.
Siofra becomes an Olympian! And we're all delighted!
She'll briefly survey the mountain she has climbed before turning her sights to higher ground.
Roll on Tokyo!
John Ives, London
9th July 2021