PAUL HESSION - IRISH ATHLETE
Paul is a native of Athenry, Co. Galway. At a young age he became interested in athletics and has been involved in the sport ever since. Paul won his first All-Ireland title at the age of 15, but it was not until he went to NUI, Galway to study Medicine that he really realized he had a big future in the sport.
In 2002, Paul qualified for the World Junior Championships and this was a real catalyst for things to come. He used these championships to qualify for his first senior championship - the Europeans in 2002 – at the age of 19. In 2003, he came a creditable 5th at the European Under 23 Championships, while still having 2 more years in the age group. This was followed with a silver medal at the World University Games in Korea.
After the success of 2003 it was clear that Paul had the potential to reach the 2004 Olympic Games. As a result he took a year out of his medical studies in order to train full-time towards this goal. Alas, he missed qualification by 0.02secs, but had the consolation of gaining a new personal best of 20.61.
Paul had targeted a medal at the 2010 European Championships. In the previous 3 seasons he was rarely beaten by a European athlete and had consistency on his side. Ultimately he was disappointed with a 6th place finish and slow times. 2011 presents new challenges as Paul targets his 4th World Championships.