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‘I know I can win a major final’

After a World Indoor Championships where she posted a personal best time in the 60m hurdles and then went on to finish fifth in the final, Sarah Lavin now has her sights on gold at a major championship.

Lavin’s finishing position in the Glasgow final was an improvement on her seventh place at the last edition in Belgrade and clocking that PB time of 7.90 in the heats and semi-finals is just another indicator of the progress being made by the 29-year-old.

Lavin was in exalted company in the Commonwealth Arena, the quality of the field underlined by the world record time run from winner Devynne Charlton, the Bahamas sprinter crossing the line in 7.65.

France’s Cyrena Samba-Mayela took silver in 7.74, while Poland’s Pia Skrzyszowska finished third in a time of 7.79.

Lavin was a little disappointed herself that she not did make the podium, telling RTÉ Sport’s Greg Allen: “I thought I could pull one out of somewhere; 7.90 is quite a banker run for me this season,” she said.

“I didn’t pull one out today so I’m a little disappointed but I look at my time, a world record and the fastest time it ever took to win bronze.

“There were amazing girls in that line-up and to be amongst them [was great].”

Such is Lavin’s progression, allied with a new-found confidence, the Limerick athlete is bullish as to what she can next achieve.

“I know I can win a major medal,” she predicted.

“It wasn’t to be today, sometimes you can question if you have right mindset going into a major championship but this is my second world indoor final and it was a totally different run from the last time. I was hysterical making the final two years ago, whereas now I was disappointed with my semi-final. And then to be involved in the fastest world indoors ever!

“I am getting better but everyone is. I don’t question my mindset going into a final but I want to turn the fifth from a European outdoors two years ago into a medal. I’m really good at making major finals and genuinely feel I’m made for majors. But I’m 29 and I’m definitely far from washed up.”

“From 2014 to 2021, I did not make a major championships; there is seven years of hunger there, but also seven years of freshness in my legs that others of my age may not have. There is a massive hunger within me and I am getting closer.”

The outdoor season is looming and there is a European Championships in June.

“Europeans are a competition we can really be competitive at,” Lavin added.

“Two Europeans in the medals here; it is stacked. There is no room for error in hurdling in Europe. I will give absolutely everything between now and then and then of course there is Paris. No Irish woman has made a sprint final. I think we can have two women this summer [Rhasidat Adeleke being the other] all going to plan.”

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