Despite the uncertainty and challenges set by COVID-19, DCU student and European athlete Nadia Power won the 800m at the World Athletics Continental Tour in Zagreb.
It was her second fastest time ever over the distance at 2:02.08, narrowly beating Hanna Hermansson of Sweden with 2.02.66 and Freitas Marta Pen of Portugal with 2.03.22.
Finishing the track and field season on a high, Power also broke the Irish Under 23 800m record, coming in with a time of 2,01.01, beating her own personal best.
This rounds off an incredible run of form by the Dubliner who has run three of the fastest times of her career in the space of eight days.
A week ago, she set a new Irish Under 23 800m record running 2:01.01 in Rovereto, Italy finishing third in a top-class international field. That time puts her sixth on the all-time Irish list.
She followed that up with 2:02.12 at the PTS Meeting in Samorin, Slovakia on Friday. That now ranks as the third fastest time of her career.
Earlier in the year, Power won the Irish National Indoor 800m title for the first time, having finished in the medals on multiple occasions in the past. However, having put in the hard training during lockdown, she was ready to step up to the next level and perform consistently on the European circuit.
It was the end of July before the track season kicked into action rather than the traditional May. The first meet of the year in Tipperary turned out to be Power’s only one on Irish soil this year. Despite everyone else being rusty, she took victory comfortably winning in a time of 2.05.10.
Power then headed on a European tour of Ireland’s International travel ‘Green List’. Strict self-isolation guidelines prevented her from competing in the National Senior Championships.
She took victory in a meet in Espoo, Finland before travelling to Turku Finland where she came 2nd in the 800m. Power left Finland having recorded her 2nd and 3rd fastest times ever, a strong sign that there was more to come in what was left of the season.
Then came the previously mentioned race in Italy where Power delivered the performance of a lifetime. She took a major risk going out harder than before in the first lap and held on, clocking not only an Irish U23 record but also putting her 6th on the Irish all-time list.
The DCU Marketing, Innovation and Technology (MINT) student and Dublin City Harrier will now have aspirations of reaching the pinnacle of sport, next year’s rescheduled Olympic Games in Tokyo.
It goes without saying that the future is extremely bright for Nadia Power. The Olympic qualifying time is now her firm focus and is certainly achievable if she continues on her current trajectory.
All going well we can look forward to seeing her don the green singlet and stepping onto the track at the Olympic Stadium, doing both her country and DCU proud.
Image Credit: DCU Athletics