European T-F – Schedule and Results.

Mark English (UCD)

Mark English (UCD)

Paul Robinson finished fourth in a dramatic 1500m while  the Irish men’s 4 x 400m team set a new national record at the final session of the  Europeans Championships in Zurich.

In the 1500m Ciaran O Lionaird was tripped from behind  on the second last lap. There were two more fallers on the last lap. Robinson stayed out of trouble and finished in 3:46.35.

In the 4x400m, the Irish men were fifth in 3:01.67, with Thomas Barr the anchor man and Mark English running the second leg.

Sean Hehir ran a well-judged race to finish 20th in 2:17.59 in the men’s marathon. Hehir started cautiously and at 10km,  was lying  39th in a packed field. He then started picking up places and, between 30km and the finish, had moved from 30th to 20th place. At 40km, he was 19th but he lost one place in the final stretch of the race.

Behind him, Kevin Seaward finished 28th in 2:20.30 and Tom Frazer 35th in 2:22.22. Daniele Meucci of Italy won the race in 2:11.03. On a tough day for marathon runners, there were ten drop-outs, while Paul Pollock was one of two who opted not to start. The team finished 7th.

At last there was a medal for the Irish team at the Europeans on Friday night when Mark English ran a smart race to finish third in the men’s 800m. His time of 1:45.03 equaled his season’s best. Polish athletes Adam Kszczot and Artur Kuciapski  finished first and second.

In  the men’s 4 x 400m relay heats, Brian Gregan, Brian Murphy, Richard Morrissey and Thomas Barr all ran out of their skins to finish third in a new Irish record of 3:03.57. This time ranked them sixth overall going into the final.  The Irish women’s 4 x 100m quartet, finishing fourth in their heat and 10th overall, were also in record breaking form with a time of 43.84 secs.Unfortunately it was not enough to make the final.

Earlier on Saturday,  Fionnuala Britton finished 10th in the women’s marathon in 2:31.46 – the fourth fastest Irish time ever. Sarah Mulligan was 36th in 2:42.43 and Barbara Sanchez 41st in 2:43.59, with the team 7th. Winner was 39-year-old Christelle Daunay of France who ran a championships best time of 2:25.14 on the tough and hilly course.

Paul Robinson and Ciarain O Lionard both qualified for the 1500m from Friday’s heats. Going in the second heat, Robinson came from behind to finish fourth in 3:39.83 , nailing down an automatic place. In a blanket finish to the opening heat, O Lionard finished seventh in 3:39.79, enough for a fastest loser’s place.  John Travers was 14th in 3:49.73.

Earlier, Robert Heffernan dropped out of the 50km walk  just before the 40km mark when he was lying  sixth. At 20km, reached in 1:27.21, he was fourth; at 30km,  reached in 2:11.01, he was fifth. With any chance of victory now gone, he opted to quit; a decision he may well come to regret.  The winner 36-year-old Yohann Diniz from France pushed the pace from the start and set a new world record of 3:32.33 – over five minutes quicker than Heffernan’s PB  of 3:37.54 from the London Olympics.The previous world record was 3:34.14. It was a third European title for Diniz.

Kelly Proper ran a personal best 23.12 secs to finish fifth in the 200m semi-finals on Thursday evening – not enough to see her through to the final, but still a great run especially since she was drawn in lane 8.

Mark English finished fourth in his 800m semi-final in Zurich on Wednesday,  with his time of 1:46.23 enough to nail down a fastest loser place in Friday’s final.

On the same evening, Thomas Barr failed to progress from the second semi-finals of the 400m hurdles, delayed after stormy conditions in Zurich. Barr was carrying a groin injury and although trailing coming into the last hurdle, made a tremendous effort to finish third in his heat. At that point, he had the second of the two fastest loser slots on offer but the last semi-final proved to be the quickest and so Barr lost out.

Also failing to progress from the 400m semi-finals was Brian Gregan, although he ran a  season’s best time of 45.81 secs.

European Track and Field Championships Zurich 2014 (all times Irish)
Day 1 – Tuesday 12 August
Men’s 400mH Rd 1 – Ht 2, 1 Thomas Barr 49.79 (Q). Ht 5, 7 Jason Harvey 51.91.
Women’s 100m Rd 1 – Ht 2, 5 Amy Foster 11.51 (q). Ht 5, 6 Phil Healy 11.53 (q)
Men’s 400m  Rd 1 – Ht 2, 6 Richard Morrissey  46.20 (PB) (q), Ht 4, 3 Brian Gregan 46.33 (Q).
Women’s 100mH  Rd 1 – Ht 2, 8 Sarah Lavin 13.35
Men’s  800m  Rd 1 – Ht 2 1 Mark English 1:47.38 (fastest Q). Ht 3, 7 Declan Murray 1:50.01
Womne’s 10,000m final –  8 Fionnuala Britton 32:32.45 (1st Jo Pavey  (GBR) 32:22.39)

Day 2 –  Wednesday 13 August
Women’s 400mH  Rd 1 – Ht 2, 3 Christine McMahon 57.16 (Q)
Men’s 400mH – SF2, 3 Thomas Barr 49.30.
Women’s 100m SF1, 8 Amy Foster 11.79
Men’s 400m SF-  Ht 3, 6  Brian Gregan 45.81. Ht 1, 8 Richard Morrissey46.64
Men’s 800m SF –  Ht 1,  4 Mark English 1:46.23

Day 3 – Thursday 14 August
Women’s 20Km walk – Laura Reynolds dnf (24th at 10km mark reached in 47 mins; dropped out at 12km)

Kelly Proper

Kelly Proper

Women’s  200m Rd 1 –  Ht 5, 4 Kelly Proper 23.37
Women’s 400mH – SF2, 8 Christine McMahon 57.31.
Women’s  200m  – SF1 – 5 Kelly Proper 23.12 (PB)

Day 4 –  Friday 15 August
Men’s  50km walk – 16 Brendan Boyce 3:51.34 (PB), Robert Heffernan dnf (4th at 20km reached in 1:27.21; 5th at 30km in 2:11.01; dropped out around 40km in 6th place)
Men’s 1500m  Rd 1 – Ht 1, 7 Ciarain  O Lionaird, 3:39.79 (q); 14 John Travers 3:9.73. Ht 2, 4  Paul Robinson 3:39.83 (Q).
Men’s 800m final –  3 Mark English 1:45.03

Day 5 –  Saturday 16 August
Women’s marathon –  10 Fionnuala Britton 2:31.46,  36 Sarah Mulligan 2:42.43, 41 Barbara Sanchez 2:43.59. Women’s 4x100m Rd 1 –  Ht 2, 4 Ireland (Amy Foster, Kelly Proper, Sarah Lavin, Phil Healy) 43.84 (Irish rec).

Men’s 4x400m Rd 1 – Ht 3, 3 Irelad (Brian Gregan, Brian Murphy, Richard Morrisey, Thomas Barr) 3:03.57 (Q) (Irish rec)

Day 6 – Sunday 17 August
Men’s marathon –  20 Sean Hehir 2:17.59, 28 Tom Frazer 2:20.30, 35 Kevin Seaward 2:22.22; Paul Pollock dns.
Men’s 1500m final – 4 Paul Robinson 3:46.35; Ciarain  O Lionaird dnf.
4x400m final  – 5 Ireland 3:01.67 (Irish rec) 4x100m final    16.22

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