Another Olympian that becomes part of our Tanktoppers express interview section! Today we have the Cambridge-based Irish athlete Louise Shanahan, she competed in the 800m run in Tokyo 2020 and she is also a 1500m Irish champion! On top of this, she is completing he PhD in physics at Trinite college in Cambridge University. The amount of effort that goes into managing the requirements of being an athlete and completing a PhD must be incredible. What a champion joins Tanktoppers!! We are thrilled about this and as always our beloved Alejandro Torres has run the interview. Find all the details below!

Welcome Louise, we are so glad that you accepted our invitation for a Catch up with Tanktoppers, thank you very much. You have just arrived from the World Championship in Oregon and the next stop will be the Europeans in Munich. What is the main goal there?

In Munich my goal is to make it through as many rounds as I can and experience racing on consecutive days, as this is not something I have done much before. I’m looking forward to the challenge!

Photo by sportsfileasm

You are a regular competitor in both 800m and 1500m. There are just 700m between the two distances but the races seem completely different from one another. Which one do you enjoy the most?

I definitely prefer the 800m, the 1500m is way too long! I have been working with my coach over the past few years to become stronger and better at the 1500m. While I am making steady progress with the 1500m, the stronger I get the better my 800m gets and the less I want to run 1500m!

At the age of 25 you have already achieved to become an Olympian athlete and study a PhD at the University of Cambridge. What is your secret?

Running and Physics are two things I love and want to do well at. It takes a lot of hard work and discipline to keep them both going but I enjoy the challenge. I can’t imagine working this hard for something I didn’t love.

From the point of view of an elite athlete, how do you find Cambridge?

I adore Cambridge. I think my favourite part is that no mater where you are living you never have to run more than a mile before you are out in the countryside. There is such a variety of running routes around Cambridge. The only thing that is missing is a few more hills! Cambridge City and University have supported me so much and allowed me to become the athlete that I am today and I am incredibly grateful to the team of Cambridge based people who are helping me to achieve my dreams.

Let’s say goodbye with our usual cheeky test so we can get you to know a bit better:

The exercise that you would make someone you don’t like to do:


Your last ‘cheat meal’:

I’m not a big fan of cheat meals but I eat chocolate most days 

A pre-competition habit:

Double knotting my laces and then tucking them in so there is no way they can become undone!

An alternative sport to yours:


A place where you have not flighted and would like to do it:


Photo by photograpybyjonty
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