Israel Olatunde has welcomed the addition of a new athletics track at the UCD campus, with the facility coming about thanks to the generosity of an anonymous alumnus of the university.
Olatunde, who became Ireland's fastest man over 100m at the European Athletics Championships in Munich in August, was on hand as the eight-lane track was officially opened at Belfield this afternoon.
The university has been without a track for over a decade after the previous one was controversially closed in 2011 and subsequently ripped up.
The former track held a special place in Irish athletics history, with Eamonn Coghlan, Ray Flynn, Frank O'Mara and Marcus O'Sullivan setting a world record in the 4x1 mile relay there in 1985.
A graduate of Ireland's largest university made a €3m donation in 2018 to fund the new track.
Olatunde, who is an undergraduate in computer science with data science at UCD, said: "It's an amazing facility and it's really great to be here to see all the planning come to fruition, and it's going to be a great addition to the club, the college and the community. So I'm really excited to get training.
"As athletes we don't have to travel around Dublin to get to the track, we've got one right here on our doorstep.
"In between classes, we can get out here, get our training done and it's really great to have."
The 20-year-old finished sixth in the 100m final at the European Athletics Championships in 10.17 seconds in Munich to eclipse Paul Hession's longstanding record and will now begin ratcheting up his preparations for next March's European Indoors in Istanbul.
"It's been great to see the reaction from everyone and it's given me so much motivation for the season ahead," he added.
"I'm looking forward to getting back to work and seeing what I can do."