'If an Athlete had a Dream Week, I Had It that Week in Korea!'

January 11, 2024

Michael Cornyn is a decorated athlete with medals at multiple levels throughout his Athletic career. However, the 2017 World Masters Championships in Daegu, South Korea is one that lives fond in the memory of the Leitrim man.

‘I won some good races underage at Junior level and the 2 All Ireland Senior medals with Donore Harriers are very special, but I think my best achievement was in 2017 at the World Masters Championships in Daegu South Korea. I have said since that if an athlete had a dream week, I had it that week in Korea.’

In the best shape of his life, running 6 races in 6 days, Michael scooped up three World medals. ‘Team Gold in 8k Cross Country alongside Tom O’Connor of Liffey Valley AC and Pat O’Grady from Drogheda AC.

‘Qualifying from the heats of the 800m (just about!) the following day, and the day after finishing 5th in the 800m final (3 of the guys ahead of me had won World or European 800m titles). I qualified for the final of the 400m, but instead ran the half marathon as I was needed for the team and got team bronze medals. Later that evening I ran in the 4x200m relay with myself anchoring the team to World Silver medals to end the championship with Gold, Silver & Bronze medals.

‘Like many athletes I had dreamed of a day standing on a podium and hearing the National Anthem, but I thought that it had long passed me. Thankfully, it just took a long time in my case when Ireland were crowned World M55 Cross Country team champions that day in South Korea.

‘When we arrived back to Dublin airport the DAA had banners and pictures up in the airport and a reception with Frank Greally, that was special for all the Master athletes arriving home.

‘The few months afterwards we got a special award from Athletics Ireland, Meath County Council gave both myself and Tom O'Connor a civic reception, and the year was crowned with a Special Achievement Award at the Leitrim Sports Awards in December.’

That podium moment, hearing the National Anthem, having won gold for his country is a moment that athletes around the world dream about. Michael Cornyn achieved that dream as a Master in 2017.

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