Sonia to receive Australian papers

Sonia O’Sullivan will receive Australian nationality at a ceremony in Melbourne tomorrow and has confirmed she now wants to compete for her new country at the Commonwealth Games in March.

The former Olympic 5,000 metres silver medalist plans to bid for a team place over that distance by contesting the Australian trials which take place in just over a fortnight.

“I have finally got my nationality sorted out but I will not really believe it until I’ve got the certificate in in my hand,” O’Sullivan told PA Sport.

O’Sullivan, who has two young children and lives in a second home in Melbourne with their father Nic Bideau – also her manager – was delighted she has made a dream come true.

She said: “Let’s remember I am Irish and they don’t come and compete in the Commonwealth Games but with dual nationality I can now do so. It’s a simple thing really.”

But she insisted: “No matter what championship it might be, I would never compete against Ireland. That is the country where I was born and bred. But this is an exception.

“I plan running for them at the European Championships in the summer,” added the 1998 champion over both 5,000 and 10,000 metres.

Now O’Sullivan is looking forward along with other people granted citizenship, to swearing her allegiance to Australia and receiving her official papers at a public ceremony in Melbourne.

Then she plan to continue preparations for the Commonwealth Games where the track and field programme will take place at the Melbourne Cricket Ground from March 19-26.

“I’ve just come back from altitude training at Falls Creek and it went really well,” said the 36-year-old Cobh star.

“I’m feeling fit and strong and now I need a couple of good track sessions before the trials,” she added.

“There’s some good young Australians running down here and I’m taking them very seriously.”

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