Olympic dreams in tatters for Ballynure athlete

Ballynure athlete Joanna Mills. Pic by Matt Mackey/presseye
Ballynure athlete Joanna Mills. Pic by Matt Mackey/presseye

THERE was heartbreak this week for Ballynure teenager Joanna Mills whose Olympic dreams lay in tatters after she was informed on Monday (July 23) that she would not be going to compete at the Olympics.

The 19-year-old was initially left out of the six-strong Irish 4x400metre squad in favour of athlete Catriona Cuddihy.

Mills believed she deserved a place in the squad as she held the sixth fastest time in Ireland and had a personal best that was faster than Cuddihy’s.

The former Ballyclare High pupil appealed the decision with the Olympic Council of Ireland (OCI) which upheld her appeal.

However, Cuddihy launched a counter appeal and on Monday it was announced that she had been successful and will join up with the Irish squad for the opening of tomorrow’s Games.

Mills said she was very upset by the late timing of the decision by the OCI.

She had been considering taking her appeal to the powerful Court of Arbitration for Sport, but on Tuesday announced she would not be taking the matter further.

She thanked everyone for their support and wished the Irish team a successful Games.