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Medal haul could have been even better in Sweden

IRELAND'S haul of two bronze medals from the European Indoors in Gothenburg at the weekend could have been higher.

Only once before did they bring home a brace of medals, in 2005, when David Gillick and Alistair Cragg both won gold, but at this year's event Derval O'Rourke came heart-breakingly close as she ran her fastest indoor time in seven years. But she was pipped for bronze by one hundredth of a second.

Brian Gregan's missed opportunity in the 400m was definitely another one that got away. He was the fastest 400m runner in Europe this season but his hopes of a medal were shattered when he was badly spiked after 200m of his semi-final and was forced to hobble off the track.

His strategy of breaking third at the end of the stagger was high risk. If he had cut in a fraction earlier, and been a little more forceful in his approach, his weekend could have been different.

Fortunately for Gregan, there was no serious damage to his ankle.

While Gregan's inexperience proved costly, it was heartening to see Leevale's Ciarán ó Lionáird recover his form.

He was disappointed to come away with 3000m bronze (in a personal best of 7:50.40), after Spain's Juan Carlos Higuero came from behind to pip him for silver.

But the Cork runner, who will be remembered for his emotional outburst after he ran the Olympics injured, returned with a great humility.

He admitted London forced him to learn to control his emotions.

"It forced me to change my mentality and be a little bit more controlled," he said.

"I think I needed to take that hit at some stage in my career. I could have carried myself better in my post-race interview, no doubt about that, but that's another learning experience."