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Sarah Lavin Poignantly Dedicates Unexpected European Bronze To Late Boyfriend

Sarah Lavin Poignantly Dedicates Unexpected European Bronze To Late Boyfriend
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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Sarah Lavin has managed to claim European bronze in the most unexpected fashion, with the Limerick hurdler learning that she had won a medal after returning home from the European Athletics Championships in Krakow.

Lavin learned on Saturday morning that the time she had recorded in Wednesday's 100m hurdles heat had been enough to claim her a bronze medal overall, with the complicated structure of the European Games leading to the delay in learning of her success.

Reacting to the brilliant news, Lavin paid a bittersweet tribute to her late boyfriend Craig Breen, who was killed in a rally accident earlier this year.

Lavin said that she was sure that Breen was watching over her, and had helped her to the European success.

READ HERE: Classy Sarah Healy Wins 1500m At Continental Tour Gold Meeting In Finland

Sarah Lavin dedicates European bronze to late Craig Breen


The structure of the athletics championships at the 2023 European Games sees countries placed in three divisions dependent on previous performance, with the overall team performance determining whether countries are promoted or relegated for the next edition of the championships.

21 June 2023; Sarah Lavin of Ireland celebrates after winning the womens 100m hurdles at the Silesian Stadium during the European Games 2023 in Chorzow, Poland. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

The success of Sarah Lavin was a huge reason for Ireland coming out as the winners of the third division, as she claimed first place in the third division 100m hurdles event on Wednesday with a lightning quick time of 12.82 - winning by almost half a second.

READ HERE: Rhasidat Adeleke Pays Tribute To Irish Fans After Latest Epic Performance


The medals for individual events at the European Championships are determined by the best overall times, meaning that those in lower divisions are eligible to win medals.

After returning home to Limerick, Lavin learned that her time had been quick enough to win her a bronze medal, with only two sprinters across the first and second division managing to beat her time from Wednesday's event. Incredibly, Lavin's 12.82 was matched by French runner Laeticia Baptiste - with the two being split by a thousandth of a second in Lavin's favour.

Speaking after learning of her bronze success, Lavin said it was a lifelong dream come true, and dedicated her medal to her late boyfriend Craig Breen. Lavin also thanked all those around her and Breen's family for their support since his fatal accident:


Someone very special up there is helping me. To get that bronze and be a hundredth of a second off silver, it's really, really tight with the best in Europe.

For everybody, and particularly [Breen's family], my own family, extended family, and of course my coach Noelle - thank you all so, so much. I've had incredibly special people helping me over the past months, the last years.

I'm so, so happy. I've dreamt of winning a major medal since I was a kid. It's a strange way to do it, to have that run by myself the other day and have to wait. But I'll remember it forever.

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