Three quick questions to Cathal Dennehy; the World Athletics sports commentator and writer
In our sport, I am most fortunate to work with some amazingly talented people. One of the most colorful, optimistic and thoughtful is Cathal Dennehy. Cathal has traveled far and wide, to cover the sport he loves. He champions the good fight, the good challenge, the good race, and he wants it done on an even playing field.
Early in his career, we were most fortunate to enjoy Cathal Dennehy writing for RunBlogRun.
During the recent U20 World Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, our senior writer in Kenya, Justin Lagat was able to get a few minutes of Cathal Dennehy’s time between eight-hour shifts announcing the Under 20s, and get him to answer 3 questions.
Special thanks to Justin Lagat and Cathal Dennehy for his time.
Cathal Dennehy is a very busy man here at the World Athletics Under 20 Championships in Nairobi. In the morning, he is doing a lot of writing and talking on the live World Athletics TV (the Twitch tv) the whole of the afternoon. So, I find the few minutes he gave me as “all the time he had in the world” that he sacrificed for this brief interview.
1. What is the hardest part of announcing a long meeting?
Filling the time. Some events may take up to 8 hours long and the best thing to do before is to do enough research on all the athletes competing. If you haven’t done your research, it can get very painful in trying to fill the time.
Without enough research, you might be announcing one athlete that you think will win, then another one you don’t even know anything about wins it and you appear like a fool.
2. Your biggest Tokyo Memory?
Despite being exhausting due to the heat and humidity, knowing that a lot of people could not get the chance to be there to enjoy the games due to the pandemic, I could not complain about anything because it was such a privilege to be there, and the athletics events were amazing.
One moment that stands out to me was Warlholm’s 400m hurdles world record. It was stunning. Everyone was thumb-struck and we all went silent in the stadium after that. It was hard to believe he could run 45 seconds while jumping the hurdles.
Another one was Eliud Kipchoge’s performance in the marathon. His humility and ability to make things look easy are what I like about him. There were some people doubting him after his last performance in London. But, in the last 10km of the Olympic marathon race, he was majestic.
Sifan Hassan’s treble was also interesting and entertaining to watch. Faith Kipyegon was amazing in the women’s 1500m. Joshua Cheptegei also, after finishing second in the 10,000m then coming back to win the 5000m gold medal.
3. Your favorite part of announcing?
When announcing a great race. Adding some enjoyment level to the viewer watching a race is my favorite part.
When an announcer is excited about the race and the results, the viewer will also get excited as well.