Derval O'Rourke is loving watching the Olympics from her own home

The Cork athlete competed in three Olympic Games from 2004 to 2012

Derval O'Rourke is loving watching the Olympics from her own home

Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Morgan Treacy

Derval O'Rourke is enjoying watching the Olympic Games from the comfort of her own home.

Rio 2016 is the first time, the three-time Olympian has not competed at the Games since she narrowly failed to qualify as a teenager for Sydney 2000. The former World Champion has already been glued to the action over the opening weekend in Rio describing it as "amazing".

"It's completely different watching it and not competing. Myself and my husband Peter were shouting at a Polish cyclist [Rafa Majka] going 'Hold onto the bronze! Hold onto the bronze!' You start getting really invested in it. When I competed I tried to stay away from it. I tried to be distracted by other things. I love watching it now."

Despite not competing in Athens until well over a week after the Opening Ceremony, O'Rourke added at the launch of her second book The Fit Foodie that she had to go in case she never got another opportunity.

"I went to the Athens Opening Ceremony. I was one of the youngest members of the team. The Olympics is a funny thing for athletes. You may never get back there and I just felt 'I'm going to walk in the Opening Ceremony. If I get to other Olympics I wont have to do it.'"

Russia's team will be synonymous in their absence from the track and field competition in Brazil, and despite the IAAF ban, O'Rourke feels the global body could have done more to help the sport.

"They could have done a far much better job with a lot of things in the doping. It would be naive to think that Russia is the only country with a problem that's big. Doping is a global problem. It's not just for one country. That's not to say that I think Russia should be gone. I think the probably should. I think the IAAF and WADA need to more."

"The priority should be about having a clean sport. There's no future in sport, if the public don't think it's clean."

The athletics competition begins on Friday and O'Rourke has said she will be "immersed in it". She thinks two particular Irish athletes have the potential to have a very successful Games.

O'Rourke with her World Championship gold medal from 2006.Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Getty Images

"My dark horse is Fionnuala McCormack. She's small but mighty. I think she could get a top-ten in the Marathon which would be a phenomenal result. I just think she has a really good Olympic performance in her. I think Ciara Mageen could make a final too. It will be really difficult to get out of the semi-finals in the 1,500 metres, but if she can it, you never know what could happen in a final. She's tactically very aware."

The American athlete Keni Harrison broke the World Record in London last month in O'Rourke's 110 metre hurdles after failing to qualify for the Olympics from the American trials. Even with Harrison's absence, there should not be a drop in class in the event according to the 35-year-old.

"She didn't perform on the day of the trials. I think the three girls that beat Harrison deserve to go. That's just the reality of it. Nia Ali [who finished third] would have trained with me for a couple of years. She had a baby last year, so it's a pretty inspirational story."

Despite O'Rourke's new career, she admitted she could see herself where she is now, four years ago. "It's good to be building my food and fitness business. I enjoy it all. No part of me would want to be at the Olympics, but I'm quite enjoying watching it."