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Everything coming together for Olive Loughnane

On a rain soaked morning in Beijing the Women’s Olympic 20km Race Walk was won by one of the firmest favourites for gold, in the slender shape of Olga Kaniskina. Notwithstanding an Olympic record time, the Russian didn’t appear to thrive in the conditions, allowing a big lead to diminish to 12 seconds by the finish. Of the other contenders racing up behind perhaps the most surprising was Ireland’s Olive Loughnane.
Obviously entirely impervious to a bit of a drenching, Olive powered through from 13th at half way to claim seventh place at the finish. Within about half a minute of a medal she smashed her personal best time to record 1:27.45 which was also inside the old Olympic record, and 92 seconds superior to her previous best set in the World Cup three months earlier.