BRONZE FOR MARK ENGLISH AS TEAM IRELAND SIGN OFF MUNICH 2022 IN STYLE
Mark English produced a tactically superb 800 meters on the final day of the European Athletics Championship in Munich this evening to claim a glorious bronze medal for Ireland in a time of 1:45.19.
The Donegal athlete secure Ireland’s second medal of the week following Ciara Mageean’s superb silver in the 1500m on Friday.
English had looked in superb shape this week, but it was his tactical awareness which saw him right in the box seat coming down the home straight. In truth, her never looked like being out of the medals coming around the final bend which was testament to his race plan and coach Feidhlim Kelly.
His time would rank as the 3rd fastest Irish 800m ever and bridges an 8-year gap from his first European bronze (outdoor) medal back in 2014.
The gold and silver went the way of Mariano Garcia (ESP) 1:44.85PB and Jake Wightman (GBR) 1:44.91 SB.
Sarah Lavin finished in 5th place in the final of the 100mH, signing off these championships in style for team Ireland with another final appearance. Lavin clocked a 12.86 in the final, having posted a 12.79PB in the semi-final only an hour previous. Her finishing time was just 0.1 away from a medal.
The Emerald AC stars has shown tremendous consistency this season, breaking the 13-second hallmark on 7 occasions, 4 of which came in World and European Championships. Lavin signs off having made a world indoor and European final this season and given current form lines, her biggest day is ahead of her.
The 100mH medals went the way of Pia Skrzyszowska (POL) 12.53, Luca Kozak (HUN) 12.69 NR, and Ditaji Kambundji (SUI) 12.74.
Efrem Gidey produced the run of his life to secure 6th place in the 10,000m final earlier in the evening. The 21-year-old crossed the finish in 27:59.22PB having been with the leading pack for much of the race.
It marks a massive milestone for the European Cross County bronze medallist (U20) from 2019 who missed much of the 2020/21 season through injury. This breakthrough performance will excite athletics fans across the country, particularly coming into another cross country season.
Hiko Haso also went in the 10,000m final, finishing in 18th in 28:38.82. Haso had an interrupted lead in to these championships and the 2021 national 5,000 and 10,000m champion will be back to his best before long.
A WEEK THAT WILL LIVE LONG IN THE MEMORY…..AS WELL AS THE HISTORY BOOKS
Tonight’s action rounded out what has been a hugely successful championships for the Irish team, owing much to the great work that is being done across the country by coaches, volunteers, clubs, and of course the athletes themselves who to continue to shine a light on athletics in Ireland.
In all, the team secured a record-breaking ELEVEN top-8 finishes, with a further 3 top 10 placings also secured across the course of the week. Ireland’s previous best total of top-8 placings at a European Championships was 6, which was achieved in 1998 & 2002.
The medal winning performance from Ciara Mageean and Mark English, as well as the record breaking exploits of Israel Olatunde (100m), Rhasidat Adeleke (400m), and the women’s 4x400m relay team of Sophie Becker, Phil Healy, Rhasidat Adeleke, and Sharlene Mawdsley have rightly attracted huge media coverage over the last 7 days, but there was a host of other outstanding performances starting from day 1 of these championships.
Fionnuala McCormack set the tone for the week with her never-say-die attitude in the women’s marathon. McCormack finished in a brilliant 7th place when the odds looked stacked against her coming into the final 5k. Her unyielding persistence drove the Irish women’s marathon team, along with Aoife Cooke and Ann Marie McGlynn, to a 5th place finish which was only 8-seconds off a bronze medal.
Day 2 followed a similar theme, with another of the stalwarts of Irish athletes in Brendan Boyce securing yet another major top-10 place in heroic fashion. The Finn Valley star made up 10 places over the second half of the gruelling 35k walk to get the maximum out of his performance once again to finish 10th.
It was then the turn of one of the young guns to mark their arrival in Tuesday evening’s session, with 20-year-old Israel Olatunde storming to an Irish 100m record (10.17) in a European final. Olatunde seemed to thrive on the championship energy over the two days, and his European 6th place finish marks him as one of the most exciting talents in Irish athletics.
A measure of where Thomas Barr is operating, meant that he was disappointed with yet another major top-10 finish (9th). Barr had a difficult start to the season through injury but showed once again that a big he is still one the global stars of our sport.
Not to be outdone by her old training partner in Israel Olatunde, Rhasidat Adeleke announced her arrival in European Championship racing with a string of breath-taking performances. The 19-year-old finished 5th in the 400m final, smashing her own Irish record with with a 50.53, all in her 6th ever race over 400m.
Adeleke would go on to play a starring role in the women’s 4x400m team alongside Sophie Becker, Phil Healy, and Sharlene Mawdsley in securing 6th place in the European final.
The relay performance continues an unprecedented run of major final appearances for Irish relay teams, following that of the the mixed 4x400m team at World Championships, Olympic Games, and World Relays, as well as the women’s 4x400m team who claimed a superb silver at the World Relay Championships in 2021.
Andrew Coscoran lined up in a stacked 1500m field on Thursday and once again showed his appetite for the big stage, securing a top 10 finish (9th) in one of the highest quality events of the championships.
Mageean was the star show on day 5, with the City of Lisburn star producing the race of her life to claim a superb 1500m silver medal, adding to the bronze medals Mageean picked up at these championships back in 2016, and the European indoors bronze medal in 2019. It also completed a remarkable month for the Portaferry athlete which also saw her claim a brilliant silver medal at the Commonwealth Games.
The highlight of the penultimate day of Munich 2022 was of course that women’s 4x400m performance, but Louise Shanahan’s breakthrough 8th place finish in a European final was a worthy second with the Leevale star now looking at home alongside the best in Europe.
The 7th and final day had a lot to live up to given all that had taken place over the previous 6 days, but like all of the Irish athletes that took to the track and field events this week, it did not disappoint.
The Irish team began to depart Munich over the last 48 hours. The final group of athletes depart Munich early tomorrow morning and are due to arrive back in Terminal 2 of Dublin Airport at approximately 1.10pm. The group includes Mark English, Sarah Lavin, Michelle Finn, Sharlene Mawdsley, John Fitzsimons, Marcus Lawler, Eilish Flanagan, Roisin Flanagan, Colin Doyle, Efrem Gidey, Joseph Ojewumi, Mark Smyth, and Hiko Tonosa Haso.
TEAM IRELAND RESULTS SUMMARY
- Eric Favors – Shot Put – 15th
- Fionnuala McCormack – Marathon – 7th
- Ann Marie McGlynn – Marathon – 29th
- Aoife Cooke – Marathon – 34th
- Women’s Marathon Team – 5th
- Hugh Armstrong – Marathon – 58th
- Israel Olatunde - 100m – 6th
- Chris O’Donnell – 400m – 11th
- Rhasidat Adeleke – 400m – 5th
- Phil Healy – 400m – 31st
- Sharlene Mawdsley – 400m – 27th
- Women’s 4x400m Team – 6th
- Thomas Barr - 400mH – 9th
- Andrew Coscoran – 1500m – 9th
- Luke McCann – 1500m – 18th
- Brendan Boyce – 35k Walk – 10th
- Ciara Mageean – 1500m – 2nd
- Sarah Healy – 1500m – 22nd
- Brian Fay – 5000m – 8th
- Darragh McElhinney – 5000m – 16th
- Michelle Finn – 3000m SC – 14th
- Eilish Flanagan – 3000m SC – 24th
- Marcus Lawler – 200m – 32nd
- Roisin Flanagan – 5000m – 14th
- Men’s 4x100m Relay DNF
- Louise Shanahan – 800m – 8th
- Mark English 800m – 3rd
- John Fitzsimons – 800m – 26th
- Hiko Haso – 10000m – 18th
- Efrem Gidey – 10000m – 6th
- Sarah Lavin 100mH – 5th
Full results: HERE