DAY 5: SHANAHAN AND 4X400M RELAY TEAM SECURE EUROPEAN FINAL PLACES
It was a superb morning for the Irish team in Munich again this morning, with Louise Shanahan (800m) and the women’s 4x400m relay team of Sophie Becker, Phil Healy, Rhasidat Adeleke, and Sharlene Mawdsley securing places in their respective European Athletics Championship finals.
The women’s 4x400m relay team secured their place in tomorrow’s final in a new national record time of 3.26.06 which smashed the previous record of 3.27.48. It was an outstanding performance from the quartet who dominated the race from the gun, allowing Sharlene Mawdsley to coast home in second place to secure automatic qualification for tomorrow’s medal decider.
Sophie Becker (52.21), who decided to focus on this week’s relay team ahead of her own individual competition, exploded from the starting blocks to put Ireland right in contention from the gun. Becker handed over to Phil Healy (51.75) who produced a superb 400m before passing on the baton to Irish 400m record holder Rhasidat Adeleke. Adeleke showed no ill effects from her exploits earlier this week and powered her way to a 49.49 400m to hand over to Mawdsley (52.58) who brought it home for the Irish team in a new Irish record.
The team, which also includes Roisin Harrison and Cliodhna Manning, will return to the stadium for the final set for 8.45pm (Irish time) tomorrow evening.
Louise Shanahan produced the race of her life in a women’s 800m semi-final stacked with quality athletes. The Tokyo Olympian ran a tactically excellent race, positioning herself expertly coming into the home straight which allowed her to claim 3rd place and one of the automatic qualification places for Saturday’s final (7.15pm) in a time of 2.01.15.
It marked another huge milestone for the Leevale athlete who has moved to another level this season, buoyed by her first Olympic Games appearance last year as well as setting a new Irish record (1.59.42) earlier this season.
The men’s 4x100 team were first in action for team Ireland this morning and were very unlucky not to get the baton around. The team had put in a huge amount of work in the lead up to these championships and one result won’t change this exciting period for Irish sprint-relay.
DAY 5 EVENING SESSION: FRIDAY 16TH – MAGEEAN READY FOR 1500M SHOWDOWN
Ciara Mageean will go in search of her second European Championship medal in the 1500m final set for 7.45pm (Irish time) this evening. The 2016 bronze medallist will take to the start in tonight’s medal decider having looked imperious in her semi-final which she controlled from gun to tape.
The City of Lisburn star will face up against a quality field however, including Olympic silver medallist Laura Muir (GBR) who Mageean finished second to in the recent Commonwealth Games 1500m final earlier this month.
There is no shortage of athletes who will have eyes on the medals, and even though championship races can be tactical affairs, it will be no surprise if Mageean has to challenge Sonia O’Sullivan’s national 1500m record of 3.58.85 to get onto her second podium of the month.
Mark English is set to return to the track for his second appearances of the week in the semi-final of the 800m at 7.34pm.
English looked hugely impressive in taking first place in today’s heat (1.47.54Q), and he will be expecting to mix it with the best in Europe once again come Sunday evening.
DAY 5: FRIDAY 16TH
Team Ireland European Championships
(Times listed in Irish Time)
- 7.34pm Men’s 800m Semi-Final 2: Mark English
- 7.45pm Women’s 1500m Final: Ciara Mageean
Where to watch: HERE