English sails through to Olympic semi final
English sails through to Olympic semi-final
Mark English (UCD) put in an impressive display to qualify automatically for the semi-finals of the 800m finishing third in heat 6 in 1:46.40 at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro today (August 12).
English ran an excellent tactical race to come through the field and finish in the top three automatic qualifying positions. Brandon McBride (Canada) won the heat in 1:45.99 with European silver medallist Marcin Lewandowski (Poland) second in 1:46.35.
“You have to trust your own race plan and preparation went really well in Uberlandia,” said a composed English afterwards. The Irish team had a training camp in Uberlandia and arrived to the Village three days before the Championships. “The weather was good in Uberlandia and I practiced getting up early in the morning to get ready for the race.”
The race was on at 10:55am Brazil time and pre-race nerves provided the perfect adrenaline rush for the UCD medical student on his Olympic debut.
“I was nervous beforehand but you want that adrenaline,” said English who runs in the semi-final tomorrow (August 13th) at 22:05 Brazilian time and 2:05am Irish time.
“I treated that race like a final. I’ll need to run 1:44 to make the final.”
Alex Wright (Leevale) in the 20km walk and Ciara Mageean (UCD) in the 1500m are still to come today.
Irish Day 2 Saturday August 13
10:05/14:05 3000m SC W R1
Kerry O’Flaherty (Newcastle)
Michelle Finn (Leevale)
Sara Treacy (Dunboyne)
22:05/2:05am 800m M SF Mark English (UCD)