Hession to lead Connacht’s relay team at Croker

Galway’s two world athletic champions will be feted at Croke Park on Sunday.

Silver medalist Olive Loughnane’s achievement will be marked at half time at the match on Sunday, while 200m sprinter Paul Hession will lead the Connacht team in a novel relay race at GAA headquarters.

Last night Hession was due to compete in the semi-finals of the 200m at the world championships in Berlin, having qualified from the heats. Hession finished second behind Jamaica’s Steve Mullings - one of only two athletes to run the distance in less than 20 seconds.

However last night running in lane eight, Hession faced Mullings, America’s Wallace Spearman and Charles Clark, and Azerbaijan’s Ramii Guliyev, all of whom have posted faster personal best times than Hession, while the world’s media was focused on champion Usain Bolt who was running in the first heat.

Last year Hession burst into the semi-finals of the 200m at the Beijing Olympics, but missed out on making the finals, finishing fifth in a time of 20.38. And last night he was looking to make the breakthrough into the finals.

“Beijing was really good for me, I knew I could mix it with the best out there and now I feel I can make a world final. It’s been the focus of my year as I’m sure it has been for most athletes and now I just want to get there and see what I can do,” Hession said.

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