He also tips him for even greater things at the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016!
This is his article in full.
Zurich, August 15th
The image of a perfect rainbow breaking out over the Letzigrund Stadium not long before Mark English toes the line for his 800 metres final.
The calm look on the face of the 21 year-old from Donegal. Then the near perfect race and a bronze medal than shone almost as brightly as gold.
There was definitely something precious about English winning that European Championship medal on that warm Friday evening in Zurich last August. All week, the Irish medal hopes had disappeared, including earlier that day, when World Champion Rob Heffernan dropped out of the 50km walk.
Still, most of the expectations on the slender shoulders of English were his own: a blazing talent since his schoolboy days in Donegal, his obvious potential, coupled with his deep tactical intelligence, hadn’t yet been delivered on any major stage.
This time there would be no mistake, and while it wasn’t gold, and for a while it looked like silver, winning the bronze brought much elation – especially amongst those of us watching up in the press seats.
Soon, English was sharing a lap of honour with the other two medallists, victory going to Adam Kszczot from Poland, twice a European Indoor champion, who ran season best of 1:44.15. English clocked 1:45.03 to equal his season best, and in the process took out several more fancied medallists, including Pierre-Ambroise Bosse from France, the hot favourite who ended up last.
“And sometimes they say bronze medallists end up happier in the long run,” said English, still in the thick of his medical studies at UCD, and with the promise of much more to come.
Seb Coe, one of his heroes, was also 21 when he won European bronze over 800m, in 1978, a little teaser perhaps of what English might ultimately be capable of, on the run towards Rio 2016 and beyond.Tags: