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History for steeplechase trio at Europeans

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History for steeplechase trio at Europeans

It was a great opening session for the Irish on day three of the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam with Michelle Finn (Leevale), Sara Treacy (Dunboyne) and Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle) qualifying for the final of the women’s 3,000m steeplechase (July 8).

It was a historic day with all three athletes making the European final. Michelle Finn finished fourth in a season’s best of 9:45.93 in the first heat of the women’s 3,000m steeplechase with the first five to qualify automatically for the final on Sunday. Finn came through strongly and was pleased with her effort. “I ran much better than my earlier races this season and coped better with the number of athletes around the barriers,” said Finn. “I feel remarkably good afterwards so we’ll see what happens in the final.”

Sara Treacy and Kerry O’Flaherty were pitted against each other in the second heat and both came through strongly to advance to the final. Treacy took the final automatic qualifying spot in fifth in a new personal best of 9:42.16 while O’Flaherty qualified comfortably in sixth as a non-automatic qualifier with a big season’s best of 9:45.53.

“I knew I had a personal best in me from training,” said Treacy afterwards. “I’m really pleased with that and looking forward to the final.” O’Flaherty was equally pleased: “That’s a big step forward and it’s great to get all three girls into the final.”

Christine McMahon (Ballymena & Antrim) was pleased to advance to the semi-finals of the women’s 400m hurdles semi-finals after finishing fourth in heat four in 57.73. “I made one or two mistakes towards the end but the point is to get through and I did that,” she said afterwards. She was 13th overall. 

Ben Reynolds (North Down) got Irish action underway with a 7th place finish in the first heat of the men’s 110m hurdles in a season’s best of 13.87. 

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