The Next Generation - Savanagh O'Callaghan

January 11, 2024

We stay in the West of Ireland for the next instalment of our Next Generation series as we shine the spotlight on rising Tuam AC star Savanagh O’Callaghan.

Coached under the tutelage of her father Pierce O’Callaghan and three-time Irish Olympian Jamie Costin, the 15-year-old Race Walker has achieved so much at such a young age in a life dedicated to athletics.

‘I attended my first Olympic Games in Beijing 2008 at 5-months-old! My mother Tamara was working for the IOC and my father was an IAAF Judge.

‘I was also at the London 2012 Olympics when I was 4 years old, and I was in Berlin in 2009 when Bolt set the WRs for 100m and 200m.’

These experiences early in her life played a major role in the love and success in athletics that Savanagh is currently enjoying, with 2023 being a strong year for the Galway native.

Last year saw Savanagh earn many honours including becoming the SIAB International Schools Champion in the 3000m RW and the All-Ireland Schools Intermediate Champion in the 2000m RW.

O’Callaghan also won the Tailteann Games 3000m RW and became the All-Ireland U16 Indoor & Outdoor Champion!

On top of all these winners’ medals, Savanagh was named Athlete of the Meeting at the International Schools, as well as being voted as Mercy Tuam’s Sports Star of the Year for 2023!

2023 also saw O’Callaghan achieve three podium finishes in World Athletics Race Walking Tour events, three years out of her age group!

Savanagh O'Callaghan
Savanagh O'Callaghan competing in Dudince, Slovakia.

Savanagh comes from a strong athletic background and is the third generation of her family to win a National Title as her grandfather Bernie won 7 Irish Senior Titles in the 1970’s and was an Irish International. Her father Pierce was also an Irish International in the late 1990’s.

Outside the track, Savanagh has played for the Galway camogie team at U14 and U16 levels, scoring in every game she featured in, as well as being a part of the Tuam football team who were unbeaten from U10 all the way to U16 level!

O’Callaghan is the vice-captain of her club, and trains with the Galway Race Walking Squad which have ‘up to 40 walkers training on any given weekend’.

Having recently returned from an AAI Warm Weather training camp in Portugal, Savanagh has her sights set on a number of goals for 2024.

Achieving AAI Qualification standard for European U18 Championships is a big goal for her as she earned a time of 25.34 which is just 4 seconds shy of the standard time in December 2023 which stands at 25.30.

Furthermore, O’Callaghan aims to medal in the National U20 & Senior Indoors, debut over 10km in Slovakia in March, and defend her All-Ireland U17 Indoor & Outdoor crowns. A top 8 finish in the European U18 Championships is also an aspiration for the talented Race Walker for 2024.

Most importantly, Savanagh hopes to stay healthy and injury free in 2024 and aims to continue to improve and enjoy athletics.

With great PBs already to her name, like her time of 15.05 in 3km RW and 25.26 in the 5km RW, Run Republic are excited to see what Savanagh achieves in 2024 and just how far this rising star can go in the year to come. We are sure that Savanagh will continue to make her coaches, club, and school (High Cross College Tuam) proud!

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