Sportswoman of the Month Nadia Power in action

Irish Times Sport Ireland Sportswoman of the Month - January

11 Feb 2021
Caroline O'Mahony

2020 was a write-off for many athletes, for Nadia Power it was another year of progress.

The Dubliner built on the promise she showed in 2019 when she won her first major international medal. That was a bronze at the European Under-23 Championships in the 800m, 2019 also seeing her set six personal bests in both the 800m and 1500m.

Come March of 2020 Power collected her first ever senior national title when she won the 800m at Abbotstown. From there on, when just about everything was coming to a halt, Power pressed on with her training, even if a little improvisation was needed at times.

In the space of a week last September she showed, in some style, that she’d lost none of her momentum as the DCU marketing student ran the three fastest 800 metre races of her life, the highlight coming at a meeting in Italy where she set a new Irish under-23 record with a time of 2:01:01.

By then, Power was viewing the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics as a “blessing”. If she’d qualified for the Games in 2020 she would, she said, have simply regarded it as “a bonus”, but with another year’s work under her belt, she feels more ready to take on the challenge of qualifying and, if that comes to pass, mixing it with the big guns in her event.

She’s added considerable weight to that belief since the start of 2021, her best performance so far coming at an indoor meeting in Vienna last month when she knocked over three seconds off her personal best to set a new Irish senior 800m record.

At the World Athletics Indoor Tour meet in Liévin, France on Tuesday night (08.02.2021) she came second in the 800m behind Poland’s Joanna Jozwik - who finished fifth in the 800m final at the last Olympics, two seconds adrift of Caster Semenya.

The previous Saturday, Power, who is coached by Enda Fitzpatrick, ran her second fastest 800m in Metz, so she’s hitting a level of consistency that augurs well for the challenges ahead - starting with next month’s European Indoor Championships in Poland.