Ger O’Donnell will look to make it a hat-trick of national 110m Hurdles titles when he toes the line on Sunday afternoon.
The Carrick-on-Shannon man enters the Irish Life Health National track & field championships as defending champion and favourite to lift a third successive title.
“After winning the last two years it would be nice to making it a hat-trick and I certainly don’t want to give up my title” explained O’Donnell.
Winning a title is always the challenge for the Carrick man who successfully transitioned from 400m hurdles to the high hurdles in 2014, a year he sealed a European indoor championship place and a first national title.
This time around it’s a different pressure, as he looks to secure a hat-trick of victories a feat last achieved by the events all-time best winner Peter Coughlan.
“I’m a competitive athlete, I find it hard to get motivated for a race where there is not much on the line” declared O’Donnell.
“Last year I was going into it and we were all very close, myself and Ben Reynolds there was only a couple of seconds between us.”
“2017 I was going into it, I was coming off an injury, it put a bit of pressure on me, I just seem to rise to those challenges.”
Having competed in the European Games in Minsk last month and with another international vest in the European Team championships up for grabs, O’Donnell believes it could be a two horse race to bring the best out of him.
“At the minute Matthew Behan and I are the two fastest in the country and we’re close on that” explains O’Donnell whose posted a season best of 14.07 seconds.
“I’d say whoever takes the title will be booking their place on the plane, which is good I like that there is an extra bit of pressure on the line.”
While Behan and O’Donnell are expected to battle for gold, North Down’s Ben Reynolds entry could be an intriguing addition.
The champion in 2015 and 2016 hasn’t shown his hand this year, while Trim’s Shane Ashton should be in contention for a podium finish.
Elsewhere Longford’s Nelvin Appiah will look to land his first national senior title when he competes in the high jump.
Listen to the full interview with Ger O’Donnell on Saturday Sport from two o’clock, while Saturday and Sunday Sport will feature live updates throughout the championships.