Monday, 20 June 2011

Orla Smyth wins Gold at World Transplant Games

World Transplant Games- Orla Smyth competing for GB team won Gold in the 10K and a Silver team medal. 

After nine hours travelling we finally made it to Gothenburg on Friday 17, to be greeted by pretty much the same weather as home. Tho was secretly pleased as figured the rainy wet weather would suit us more than those from foreign climates!

After getting registered and checked in the nerves started as my first big race and the one I was most worried about was quickly approaching. So I had a very early night, slept like a baby and was up at 6 the next morning and felt surprisingly calm. I knew that I had worked hard all year at the dub and track an well there was nothing more I could do now.

Decky sent me a poem that morning and the last words went " sooner or later the man who wins is the man who thinks he can", so with that in mind I headed off to the stadium. My hopes of weather advantage were snookered by a blue sky and 20 degree heat but as I lined up at the start with all the other competitors, I knew what i had to do.

The race started with about 50m on the track and the out through a park around a loop then back in to the track to finish. It wasn't a bad course, few hills but nothing too bad. I started well and there was a pack of about 5 of us together for the first half km, after this I started to pull away and from this stage I was leading the race, not something I'm used too! I found it difficult to judge the pace and too often kept looking behind me, which slowed me up.

That said, I led the race to the end and strided home into the track to the cheering crowds to finish first lady over all age categories. I felt absolutely exhausted but absolutely thrilled too. Not a pb but a gold medal and that's certainly the order i would have taken before the start! Time came in at 14mins which was a bit slow tho my garmin friends informed me it was a "long" 3k!!

An American girl came in second and an Irish girl third. The UK womens team also got a silver in the team event. So my first day in the world games and two medals, defo a success!! I can't explain how amazing the atmosphere here is, with 51 countries represented the colours are fantastic! The day finished off with meeting Prince Daniel of Sweden who presented me with my medal. He has had a kidney transplant too. So few days rest before taking on the track on Wednesday with the 1500 and 400 then. I'll keep u posted on progress

Orla (World Champ!!)