Delaney savours his date in Donegal!

Delaney savours his date in Donegal!

By Tom comack tom.comack@donegaldemocrat.com @dgldemocrat

Irish Olympic legend Ronnie Delany is coming to Donegal next weekend and is a guest of Letterkenny AC for their annual awards night.

The Olympic gold medalist from Melbourne, all of 60 years ago, is finally making it to the North West after numerous attempts by Letterkenny AC and fellow Olympian Danny McDaid, to get him to make the trip.

“It is something that I have wanted to do for years,” the 1956, 1500 metre gold medalist told the Democrat/People’s Press.

“But any time I received an invitation from Danny McDaid, I always had something else on at the time.

“But thankfully, Danny never gives up, just like in his running days, and I was fit to say yes to him this time.

“I’m really looking forward to going up to Donegal and I’m doing so in honour of Danny and to acknowledge the great success of Donegal athletes in recent years at middle distance.

“In a way I want to acknowledge the success of athletes like Mark English and the great work being done by the coaches that have produced athletes of the quality of Mark English.

Tremendous work

“These coaches do tremendous work week in week out with young athletes and have produced some of our top athletes. It is important that this great work is recognised and it is honour of these people too and to recognise their contribution to athletics, that I’m going up.

“I really enjoy meeting and chatting with the coaches and the club members around the country anytime I get a chance.”

About Ronnie Delaney

Ronnie Delaney created history when he won gold in the 1,500 metres at the Olympic Games in Melbourne on December 1st, 1956. He was the first Irish gold medal winner in track and field.

He etched his name into Ireland's sporting folklore when he made his break for home on the final bend that fateful day 60 years ago.

In doing so, he passed the great John Landy - who was the favourite for the gold medal - and won in style when posting a time of 3 minutes, 41.2 seconds.

A native of Arklow, Ronnie Delaney won a bronze medal, also in the 1,500 metres, at the European Championships in Stockholm in 1958. He retired in 1962 and is 81.