ENNISKILLEN-BORN athlete, Ciaran Dolan, found himself face-to-face with Olympic Heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill this week.
Ciaran, a long-jumper, who studies at Sheffield University, was training at a track called Woodbourne Road Track, close to the Don Valley Stadium owned by Sheffield Hallam University when Jessica appeared, doing her own warm ups.
“I had a training session to do on the Sunday which started at 9. Hannah Bushell (the girl in the photo) arrived up at the track, warmed up, and started our individual sessions,” explained Ciaran.
“Jess arrived at around 10 and started warming up beside us, drilling etc. She’s a really lovely girl and I’ve seen her around the track a good few times. It was just me, Hannah and Jess and her group on the track so that’s probably why she trains at that time – nice and quiet!”
And when she walked past Ciaran, he couldn’t resist saying ‘hello’.
“When she walked passed I just congratulated her on her news about being pregnant and she was so lovely and thankful I mentioned it, she must be sick of being in the public eye all the time though!
“We finished up our session just as she was in the middle of her own, and Hannah asked could she get a cheeky picture before we left, so naturally I wanted to be in it!”
With regards to his own athletics, Ciaran has been kept out of full action due to injury, however, is back training six days a week – while taking the seventh as an active rest day.
“My standing long jump personal best has increased to 3.12m, I’m hang cleaning much more than expected and with all these aspects coming together I’m hoping it will show in my long jump.”
He added: “I’m very excited about the upcoming season to see what I can muster. The first competition is next Wednesday, and that should be interesting as it is the first jump of the season for me.”
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