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David Kenny arrives in Japan for Olympic debut

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By Sean Moriarty

The wheels of the plane have finally touched down in Tokyo as a Kerry Olympian undergoes final preparations for his 20km Race Walk debut next Thursday.

22-year-old David Kenny from Rusheen, Firies, arrived yesterday (Thursday) following in the footsteps of Glenflesk athlete Gillian O’Sullivan who walked for Ireland in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

David finished second in the U23 European Championships in Estonia last month but in Olympic terms he is ranked 54th in the world. Race walkers, like other endurance athletes, tend to come into better form in their late 20s or early 30s.

At home in Rusheen, the excitement is building ahead of his race which is scheduled for 8.30am next Thursday.

His father Noel, a postman in the Kilcummin area, mother Mary, and three sisters Sarah, Laura and Rebecca can’t wait for Thursday’s event.

“I have taken the whole week off,” Noel told the Killarney Advertiser. “He is ranked 54th in the world, but if he finishes 53rd I will be a happy man.”

CAREER

Kenny became a race walker almost by accident. As a youngster he played soccer for Ballyhar Dynamos, football for Firies and hurling for Dr Crokes. He was also an accomplished cross-country runner through the winter months.

Farranfore-Maine Valley AC members Mike O’Connor and Jerome Crowley – both former champion race-walkers – encouraged him into the discipline so he could compete at the Track and Field events during the summer months.

His career took off and already this year he has competed in Estonia and has attended warm-weather training events in Spain and South Africa.

“The day after St Stephen’s Day he was on a flight to South Africa for training, that’s the dedication and I don’t know any other 22-year-old who has travelled so much,” Noel added.

David has been mentored by Cork athlete Rob Heffernan, who participated in five Olympic Games and took bronze in London in 2012.

“Rob keeps telling David that he is better than him at the same age,” Noel said.

Kenny’s personal best for the 50km walks is 1 hour 23 minutes and 6 seconds. The expected race-winning pace is in the region of 1 hour and 19 minutes.

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Christmas magic begins as Santa arrives in Killarney

He came dashing through the town on Saturday night and packed streets greeted him with huge excitement. Yes, that’s right – Santa Claus took some time out of his very […]

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He came dashing through the town on Saturday night and packed streets greeted him with huge excitement.

Yes, that’s right – Santa Claus took some time out of his very busy schedule and arrived to town for the annual switching on of the Christmas lights and magic parade.

The streets were lined with children and their families and they’d huge smiles on their faces when they spotted the man in the red coat making his way around the town on the colourful float.

Grace O’Hare was pictured with her dad Conor – she had the best seat in the town to watch Santa Claus as she was perched high on her dad’s shoulders.

It was the same for the Patterson family, Alex, Irene, Catherine and Robert, while Parade safety steward, Marie Brosnan-Leahy, was on hand to make sure everything went off OK.

Killarney Municipal District Councillors, Cllr Niall ‘Botty’ O’Callaghan, Cllr Donal Grady, Cathaoirleach Killarney Municipal District Cllr John O’Donoghue, Cllr Brendan Cronin, Cllr Marie Moloney, also enjoyed the occasion while the Sam Maguire took pride of place and centre stage in Killarney for the annual fun filled event.

And while he was in town Santa took some time off to have a chat with Killarney Advertiser columnist Marie Carroll-O’Sullivan – check it out on page 14 of this week’s edition.

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Women’s health the focus of HeartBeat meeting

By Sean Moriarty HeartBeat Killarney will present a special meeting dedicated to women’s health next week. Hosted by HeartBeat nurse Anna O’Donoghue, the meeting tomorrow evening (Tuesday) will feature specific […]

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By Sean Moriarty

HeartBeat Killarney will present a special meeting dedicated to women’s health next week.

Hosted by HeartBeat nurse Anna O’Donoghue, the meeting tomorrow evening (Tuesday) will feature specific discussions on every decade of women’s lives.

Special guest on the evening will be Obstetrician and Gynaecologist Dr Mary McCaffrey.

“Topics will include hormones and how they affect health from puberty, the importance of bone health, a cameo on female cardiac symptoms, heart health and mid-life, as well as common health symptoms specific to women’s well-being,” said HeartBeat chairman Billy O’Sullivan.

“We welcome women of all ages to this important meeting which is an opportunity not to be missed, especially if you have health worries.”

The meeting will take place at 8pm at the Parish Centre on Park Road.

It will be followed by a Q&A session and there is an optional blood pressure and pulse clinic from 7.30pm.

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