Ban lifted so blind runner Sinead Kane can take part in ultra-marathon

Sinead Kane fought for her right to run the ultra-marathon (Sinead Kane Instagram)
11:57am, Fri 25 Oct 2019
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Blind runner Sinead Kane will compete for Ireland at the World 24-Championships this weekend after a ban on her competing was lifted.

The Irish runner, who has less than five per cent vision, was originally told that she could not take part in the race in France as she needed a guide to run with her.

As a result, the 37-year-old solicitor took legal action against the International Association of Ultrarunners and on Wednesday was granted permission by the governing body to take part.

Speaking about the decision, Kane said: "I have won my discrimination fight against the IAU. They are being forced not to be discriminatory."

Kane has trained for months for this weekend's race (Sinead Kane Instagram)

Kane qualified for the race in April after running 204.5km in a 24-hour run in Crawley.

She had an abundance of support in her challenge to the ban, with Irish running legend Sonia O'Sullivan labelling the bid to exclude her 'appalling'.

O'Sullivan said: "I find it appalling a drug cheat could be welcomed into a World Athletics Championships after serving a ban for a couple of years, yet there's no place for a blind runner who fairly achieves a qualifying standard - simply because she requires a guide."

Kane was grateful for the backing of the IAU's former president, Richard Donovan.

"Richard has been with me since the beginning of the case. He has supported me through the ups and downs and has been instrumental in giving his knowledge to my legal team about ultra running and help formulate strategy."

Kane said her successful appeal was a 'big win for disability rights'.