Sarah Lavin improves on her 100m hurdles lifetime best twice in just over an hour

The Irish woman finished fifth at the Citius Meeting in Bern in 12.67

Improving her lifetime best over the 100m hurdles not once but twice in just over an hour, Sarah Lavin finished just marginally short of breaking the 13-year-old Irish record belonging to Derval O’Rourke at the Citius Meeting in Bern on Friday evening.

In her final race before the World Championships in Budapest later this month, Lavin first clocked 12.72 in the second heat, finishing third, with that eclipsing her previous best of 12.73 run at the Stockholm Diamond League.

Then, just over an hour later in the final, Lavin broke 12.70, nailing fifth place in 12.67 – just .02 off O’Rourke’s record of 12.65 set when winning the silver medal at the 2010 European Championships in Barcelona.

That’s clearly within Lavin’s reach now. The 29 year-old from Limerick was again mixing it with some of the best in the world in Bern, where local star Ditaji Kambundji improving the Swiss record to 12.47, ran a meeting record and the fastest time by a European this year.


Sophie O’Sullivan also had a rewarding run ahead of the World Championships, moving down to the 1,000m and running a lifetime best of 2:37.08 in fourth, the win there going to Abby Caldwell from Australia in 2:34.63. O’Sullivan’s time moves her up to third on the Irish all-time list, behind Ciara Mageean (2:31.06) and her mother Sonia O’Sullivan (2:34.66).

Sharlene Mawdsley, also part of the 23-strong Irish team named for Budapest, dipped under 52 seconds again, running 51.98 in the 400m flat, the win there going to Britain’s Laviai Nielson in 50.03.

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan

Ian O'Riordan is an Irish Times sports journalist writing on athletics