O'Sullivan hunts more Irish gold

1500m

Like the men's 800 metres, this is likely to be one of the most open and intriguing events of the Games. It offers Sonia O'Sullivan, of Ireland, the opportunity to become the first athlete to complete the Olympic 1500 and 5000m double since Paavo Nurmi, the Flying Finn, in 1928.

O'Sullivan, who won the world title in Gothenburg last year, will run the 5,000m, her main event, first in the programme. She is looking at the "Olympic metric mile" as being an extra after, she hopes, becoming the first Irishwoman to win an Olympic gold medal on the track, following the double-gold feats in Atlanta of Michelle Smith in the pool.

O'Sullivan, who lives and trains in Teddington under the direction of her manager, Kim McDonald, had every right to be in high spirits in Oslo on 5 July after beating several of her main rivals over in 3min 59.91sec, a time bettered this year only by Svetlana Masterkova of Russia with 3:59.30. If O'Sullivan does succeed at her most favoured distance of 5,000m, she will come to the with the confidence to cover every move that is made. Confidence is one thing Britain's Kelly Holmes is short of in Atlanta. Holmes, who finished second to O'Sullivan in Norway in a personal best of 4min 01.13sec, arrived in Atlanta with hopes of chasing gold in the 800m and . But a stress fracture in her lower left leg has put her in doubt for the 800m, for which heats start on Friday, and is in a race against time to make it to the .

The reigning Olympic and world champion Hassiba Boulmerka will be back to defend her title. A recent, rare non-championship outing in Nice ended in defeat at the hands of Carla Sacramento of Portugal, although the Algerian was recovering from an illness at the time. She will not easily give up the title she won with such nationalistic pride in Barcelona.

Maria Mutola of Mozambique, regarded as the favourite for the 800m, is expected to double up in Atlanta. Mutola is coming into these Games with powerful motivation to do well, having been disqualified from last year's 800m semi-final at the world championships for running out of her lane.

Mutola will hope for a slow race where she can use her strong finish to best effect. O'Sullivan, Boulmerka and - if she runs - Holmes will be aware of the danger and are unlikely to let the pace slacken.

Records

World 3:50.46 Qu Yunxia (China) 1993

Olympic 3:53.96 Paula Ivan (Romania) 1988

British 3:59.96 Zola Budd 1985

Best times in the world - 1996

3:59.30 Svetlana Masterkova (Russia)

3:59.91 Sonia O'Sullivan (Ireland)

4:01.13 Kelly Holmes (Great Britain)

Best British performances - 1996

4:01.13 Kelly Holmes

First three forecast

1. H Boulmerka (Alg)

2. O'Sullivan

3. C. Sacramento (Por)

News
The cartoon produced by Bruce MacKinnon for the Halifax Chronicle-Herald on Thursday, showing the bronze soldiers of the war memorial in Ottawa welcoming Corporal Cirillo into their midst
news
Voices
Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into disastrous conflicts
Voices
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
voicesNigel Farage: Where is the Left’s outrage over the sexual abuse of girls in the North of England?
Property
One bedroom terraced house for sale, Richmond Avenue, Islington, London N1. On with Winkworths for £275,000.
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The Edge and his wife, Morleigh Steinberg, at the Academy Awards in 2014
peopleGuitarist faces protests over plan to build mansions in Malibu
News
i100
News
peopleFox presenter gives her less than favourable view of women in politics
News
Mario Balotelli has been accused of 'threateningly' telling a woman to stop photographing his Ferrari
peoplePolice investigate claim Balotelli acted 'threateningly' towards a woman photographing his Ferrari
Life and Style
The Zinger Double Down King, which is a bun-less burger released in Korea
food + drinkKFC unveils breadless meat beast
Arts and Entertainment
A shared vision: Cerys Matthews has been familiarising herself with Dylan Thomas’s material, for a revealing radio programme
arts + entsA singer, her uncle and a special relationship with Dylan Thomas
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SSRS Report Developer - Urgent Contract - London - £300pd

£300 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: SSRS Report Developer – 3 Mon...

KS1 Teacher

£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

HR Business Partner - Essex - £39,000 plus benefits

£32000 - £39000 per annum + benefits + bonus: Ashdown Group: Generalist HR Man...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £30000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Do you feel like your sales role...

Day In a Page

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster