Paul Hession (Athenry AC) ran a season best time of 20.75 to qualify for the semi finals of the men’s 200m on day three of the European Track and Field Championships in Helsinki, Finland. Hession blasted from the blocks and transitioned well coming into the home straight, despite having to negotiate the troublesome bends. Hession looked relaxed and composed crossing the line just behind heat winner Likourgos Tsakonas (20.73) from Greece.
Hession said “It was really tough to stay in your lane; I have never experienced anything like that before. The race itself was fine, I was fairly isolated out there in lane seven so I didn’t really know who was near me. I am looking forward to the semi finals later.”
Steven Colvert (Crusaders AC) was disqualified from the heats of the men’s 200m; Colvert finished the race in a time of 21.24. The time would have been good enough to qualify him for the semi finals as a fastest loser but unfortunately Colvert was disqualified for a lane infringement. This follows on from his team mate Joanne Cuddihy (Kilkenny City Harriers AC) similar disqualification earlier in the week. Many of the athletes taking part in the championships have expressed their concern over the tightness of the bends at the track in the old Olympic Stadium.
Colvert said “That was a shocking race; I need to look back at the tape with my coach and see what went wrong. I would usually start catching people in the home straight. The bends were really tight and hard to navigate”
Colvert’s training partner Paul Hession said afterwards “I know Steven is in much better shape than that. He is in at least 20.4 shape, the guy has been flying in training.”
Amy Foster (City of Lisburn) was the last of the Irish in action in the women’s 200m heats. Foster finished sixth in a time of 24.04. This was unfortunately not good enough to qualify her for the semi-finals. Foster’s heat was particularly tough, it was won in a very quick time of 22.77 by Ukranian Mariya Ryemyen
Paul Hession (Athenry AC) will be back in action later today in the semi-finals of the men’s 200m at 18.33 Irish time. Jessie Barr (Ferrybank AC) goes in the women’s 400m hurdles final at 18.00 and finally Brian Gregan (Clonliffe Harriers AC) is in action in the men’s 400m final at 19.25.