Mageean and Healy power through in Berlin
Healy and Mageean power through
Ciara Mageean (UCD) cruised through to the final of the women’s 1500m and Phil Healy (Bandon) advanced to the semi-finals of the 200m this morning at the European Athletics Championships in Berlin (August 10th).
Mageean looked smooth and controlled throughout her heat and finished second in 4:09.35 behind championship favourite Laura Muir of Great Britain to qualify automatically.
“I came in here to get the big Q (automatic qualification) and I did that,” said Mageean confidently afterwards. “The box is ticked and now to get ready for the final.”
Phil Healy was the first Irish athlete on the track this morning and she sped through to the 200m semi-finals this evening finishing third in 23.34 to also qualify automatically.
“Job done,” said Healy straight after. “It was cooler this morning so I had plenty of layers on warming up and got it done.”
Healy goes in lane 6 this evening at 18:55 Irish time in the second semi-final.
There was no joy for the steeplechasers and relay teams in advancing to respective finals.
Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle) finished 17th in heat 1 of the women’s 3,000m steeplechase in 10:09.71 while Michelle Finn (Leevale) was 16th in heat 2 in 10:10.93.
“My running legs just weren’t there today and there’s no hiding place in the steeple,” said O’Flaherty afterwards. “It’s disappointing from being in the final in 2016 obviously.”
Equally Michelle Finn had nothing in the legs. “I just felt flat and I just couldn’t get going,” said Finn.
The men’s 4x400m relay team of Chris O’Donnell (North Sligo), Brandon Arrey (Raheny Shamrock), Leon Reid (Menapians) and Thomas Barr (Ferrybank) had to settle for a fifth place finish in their heat in 3:06.55.
Barr had to use his hurdle technique on the last leg to navigate a fallen runner at the changeover and was pleased with the young team’s performance who were 11th overall.
“We’re a green team to pardon the pun and I think we did well out there as a young team. I’m 26 and the oldest member on the team so there’s plenty more to come,” said Barr.
The women’s team of Sinead Denny (DSD), Sophie Becker (St Joseph’s), Davicia Patterson (Beechmount Harriers) and Claire Mooney (UCD) finished 8th in their heat in 3:35.96.
There were two championship debuts for Sophie Becker and Davicia Patterson who both got valuable experience.
“I’ve never run on an international relay team before at any level so that was a good experience,” said Patterson who set a new national U20 400m record this season and competed in the World U20 championships.