MARK ENGLISH finished second in the 800m final as Ireland secured ‘First League’ status at the European Team Championships.
English secured a priceless ten points for Ireland with a second-placed finish in Sandnes, Norway.
The Letterkenny man – the Ireland captain for the weekend – came home in 1:50.06, behind the winner Balazs Vindics from Hungary in 1:49.62.
Mehmet Celik from Turkey was third in a season’s best of 1:50.24.
English’s time means that he has yet to meet the qualifying time for the 2019 World Championships, but will aim to get the time when he competes at The Diamond League and the Morton Games.
On Saturday, Thomas Barr bagged eight points for Ireland when he finished fourth in the 400m hurdles.
Ciara Neville turned in a season’s best with a stunning 13.24-second run in the 100m final, finishing third, while Christopher O’Donnell was superb to come second in the 400m final, in what was also a season’s best of 46.70 seconds.
There were notable performance throughout the day as Katie Kirk (800m), Michaela Walsh (Hammer), Sharlene Mawdsley (400m), Ryan Forsyth (5000m), and Michelle Finn (3000m SC) all added to the overall team points.
Colin Quirk (Discuss), Sean Roth (Pole Vault), Amy O’Donoghue (1500m), and Michaela Walsh all performed well to secure what would be vial points in the final overall team standings. This was followed by a 40 minute blitz of brilliant performances as Jayme Rossiter (3000m SC), Pippa Rogan (High Jump), and Marcus Lawlor (200m) all finished in 4th place for a combined haul of 24 points.
Fionnuala McCormack took to the track in the 5000m at 1.40pm. Leading for most of the race, it was only in the last few laps that Fionnuala relinquished the lead to eventually finish third. Fionnuala’s 3rd place finish (9 points) kept Ireland in a tight battle for placings with Romania and Hungary.
Valuable contributions from Ruby Millet (Long Jump), Stephen Rice (Javelin), and John Travers (3000m) meant it came down to the 4×400 teams to secure ‘First League’ status for Ireland in the final 2 events.
The women’s 4×400 team led the way, winning their ‘A Final’ in 3.35.77 which secured the 4th fastest time and 8 points. The men’s team followed suit, and a gritted final leg saw them also win their ‘A Final’ in 3.08.84. This time proved the be the 3rd fasted overall, and secured Ireland’s status in the ‘First League’ of the European Team Championships by 1.5 points over 8th placed Romania.Tags: