Michéal Doyle fine-tuned his preparations for his London Olympics qualification bid at Dalgan Park, Navan last Sunday morning.
Rathfeigh athlete Michéal Doyle, a member of Tara AC, will bid for a place at the London Olympics this summer when he competes in the prestigious 50km IAAF World Race Walking Cup in Russia at 5.30am Irish time next Sunday morning.
The Meath man took time out from his hectic training schedule last Sunday at Dalgan Park, Navan, a place steeped in sporting success stories by Sean Boylan and the All-Ireland-winning Meath teams, and outlined the challenge he faces in Saransk, the capital of the Republic of Mordovia, this weekend.
Doyle had to return home last week from his training camp in Spain to sort out some problems with his application to the Russian Embassy for a visa.
With the help of his parents, the visa issues were quickly resolved and he was able to concentrate on his training schedule.
"I've been training for this for years, I've been based in Spain for the last two months, training twice a day, seven days a week," he told the Meath Chronicle on Sunday morning while casual runners jogged past in the Dalgan Park sunshine.
"That schedule would also include four days in the gym as well as 180 kms per week on the roads," he added.
Doyle's schedule incorporates a Wednesday and Sunday evening off plus a full day off every three weeks.
"I've always wanted to compete in the Olympics, I'm 24 and it's my birthday in a fortnight, qualifiyng for London be a great way to celebrate.
"I want to represent my country at the Olympics, the race next Sunday is at 5.30am Irish time, so by the time everyone gets up I hope that I will have qualified," he added.
With only three Irish athletes to go to London for the 50km event, Doyle is considered the outsider to make the cut.
Irish athletes, Jamie Costin who is a three-time Olympian and Colin Griffin, a former Irish record holder who competed at Beijing, are vying for the places along with Brendan Boyce who has already achieved the qualifying time.
Rob Heffernan has already qualified, but if Doyle can return a better time than any of the other three, he will make the cut.
Doyle, a student at the University of Bedfordshire in England, is the curent Irish 20km champion and will be bidding to break three hours and 56 minutes for the 50km event that has attracted a record number of athletes from 67 countries to the Russian city located 400 miles south east of Moscow.
Russian athletes are expected to claim the majority of the podium spots as Seransk is the home to a racewlking academy and the current world record holders in
these events live and train there.
The event will attract up to 100,000 spectators on Sunday.
See full length interview with Michéal Doyle in this week's Meath Chronicle.