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Derval makes no excuse

DESPITE a pre-championship groin problem, Derval O'Rourke refused to make any excuses after she finished fourth in the final of the 60m hurdles at the European Indoor Championships in Paris last night.

Her injury meant that yesterday's three-round medal dash was her first time to race in four weeks.

So, to finish just outside the medals in a season-best time of 7.96 wasn't bad for someone who was only 50-50 about even being able to take part just two weeks ago.

It is testament to O'Rourke's own class and determination that she had still hoped to land a medal, despite running in lane eight, which she also refused to use as an excuse.

"It's still a major championship and I came fourth, so I can't kick myself, the girls (who won medals) all ran faster than my personal best (7.84 seconds)," O'Rourke pointed out.

She also revealed just how close she had come to having to pull out of the event.

"The weekend of the Nationals (two weeks ago), it was 50-50," she admitted.

"I didn't run over hurdles until last Sunday and Tuesday.

"Sunday was the first test.

"If I couldn't get over hurdles last Sunday -- full height hurdles at full speed -- then I wouldn't have come, but I could, so I had to come and tough it out.

"If this happened before the Olympics next year, I'd have to do it!"