The Cork athlete almost won a silver medal in the men’s 3,000m final, only to be overtaking by the fast-finishing Spaniard Juan Carlos Higuero, who went on to clinch second place.

O’Lionaird set a personal best time of seven minutes 50.40 seconds – just 0.14 seconds behind Higuero – and he said afterwards:  ‘I am still new to indoor championships and I have a lot less experience than the other guys.

‘I would rather race for the gold and get the bronze than race for silver and get silver. I am not elated but I am satisfied. This is a positive step forward.’

This has been a good start to the new season for O’Lionaird, who also finished third in the Wanamkaker Mile last month in New York, where he smashed his own personal best by two seconds with a time of 3.53.10.

"Coming back from last season’s disappointment this has given more some silverware, or rather some bronze-ware!" he added. "But it's kept me hungry certainly to come out and beat those guys later in the year. I’m satisfied, but I won't be going to bed tonight satisfied. I’m still angry, still motivated.”

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