Kate O'Connor won Northern Ireland's second ever athletics medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Wednesday night in the Heptathlon.
The Irish record holder produced the second best performance of her career accumulating 6,233 points just 64 points off her lifetime best which was set in 2021.
The Dundalk St. Gerald's AC athlete who was born in Newry, Co. Down had some brilliant performances over the two days, but saved her best until the penultimate event in the javelin.
O'Connor is a fantastic javelin thrower and is scheduled to compete in the individual event later in the week. The 21-year-old is the Irish U20 and U23 javelin record holder having thrown 52.92m back in 2019 when she won Heptathlon silver at the European U20 Championships in Sweden. Sitting in fifth prior to second last event O'Connor needed a big effort and she delivered, launching the javelin out to 51.14m well ahead of her fellow competitors.
Kate O'Connor sets two new personal bests
Having ran new personal bests in both the 100m Hurdles and 200m on the opening day as well as achieving seasons bests in the High Jump and Shot Put, O'Connor was sitting behind just one athlete, England's Katarina Johnson-Thompson after four events.
O'Connor was disappointed with her Long Jump that opened the second day of competition only recording a mark of 5.83m, which dropped her down to fifth in the standings.
Following her excellent javelin, she just needed a solid run in the 800m to remain in the silver medal position. Her fourth place finish in that race sealed the deal.
O'Connor was delighted with her performance.
“I’m buzzing with myself, oh my goodness I’m so happy, I couldn’t have asked for anymore. One of my worries was going out and finishing that 800m and losing my silver medal and I didn’t thankfully. I’ve came away with Northern Ireland’s second ever athletics medal and I’m just so proud of myself,” O'Connor said.
“I really can’t put it into words how I’m feeling. I’m just so proud of myself”
Kate O’Connor wins silver in the Women’s Heptathlon tonight in front of family and friends 🥈
🎥 @niamh_mac_manus / @RichardSmyth26 #goteamni pic.twitter.com/WTRg2AgvPZ
— Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland (@GoTeamNI) August 3, 2022
I got a hurdles PB, I got a 200m PB and a High Jump season’s best literally one after the other…I just managed to pull everything together. I knew I could do it in training I just hadn’t done it in competition yet and to do it in front of a crowd like this I am just so happy with myself.
“I can’t really put it into words how I’m feeling, my goal in this sport is to try and show little girls that multi-events is a fun sport and I want to encourage people to join athletics and come out and enjoy this sort of stage."
After competing in Birmingham, O'Connor will compete at the European Championships in Munich. She has been selected to represent Ireland in the Heptathlon later this month.