BRAVE Caitriona Jennings finished the Olympic Marathon despite a severe injury. Her father is from Claremorris.?Pic: Sportsfile
Mayo cousins cheer on injured Catriona
IT was a special moment that tugged at the heartstrings of millions watching the Olympics Games last Friday … the sight of a British crowd cheering on injured Irish marathon athlete Catriona Jennings. The Donegal based athlete, whose father is Michael Jennings from Ballyfarna, Claremorris, suffered a recurring injury in the early stages. But sheer determination and willpower ensured she would finish the course … almost an hour behind the winner.
The huge gathering along the route, aware of her difficulties, rallied behind her and she was cheered with huge enthusiasm every painful step of the way. Her aunts, Eva O’Sullivan from Ballyfarna and Rita from Ennis as well as her uncle Bernard Jennings, Ballyfarna (who is a dentist in Ballyhaunis), together with her cousins Annmarie, Roisin and Patrick O’Sullivan and Fiona and Brian Jennings, all from Ballyfarna, were there to lend support and encouragement on her big day.
Catriona was also joined by her parents Michael (a retired Garda Detective in Letterkenny) and her mother Teresa and by her sisters Sinéad and Deirdre. Sinéad won the World Light-Weight Single Skulls Rowing title in the Irish colours in recent years, a massive achievement for Irish rowing.
Her aunt, Assumpta Fleming, who resides in Ballyfarna, just two miles from Knock, said they were all very proud of Catriona’s gutsy performance. “She was in sheer pain for miles of the marathon. It was like running on a needle but she kept on to the finish. She has great willpower and it carried her through. She was hugely appreciative of the massive support she got from the British public and all those who lined the route. The policemen and all the stewards, everyone willed her on. That will be the one very special memory she will always carry from the London Olympics, 2012.”
Catriona is also a niece of Magdalene (Knock) and Pauline (Moran) in Newport.