Thomas Barr and Mark English have both exited the World Championships in their respective events in the second day of action at Doha, Qatar.
Barr who ran in the Rip Olympics finished outside of the qualifications places finishing 4th in his heat of the 400m semi-finals. He ran a seasons best however of 49.02. Only two from each heat qualified automatically, Barr finished in 10th overall. This meant that the Waterford native missed out on the 8th and final place by. 09 seconds. Rai Benjamin won the heat that Barr was in with a time of 48.52, reigning champion Karsten Warholm set a time of 48.28 and was therefore the fastest qualifying time.
Speaking to RTE Athletic Sports pundit David Gillick, Barr said,” I hadn’t realised it was .1 of a second, I definitely could have found that in that last hurdle where I messed up,” He continued, “I thought I was going to get 14 strides into it. I wasn’t able to drive off it and get that normal burst of speed off it that I normally do. That’s what cost me”.
It also wasn’t a good day for Mark English. He bowed out in the heats of the 800m. The Donegal man took the lead as the bell approached but looked to be fading on the final lap and was reeled in by his opponents. English finished last of 7 runners in the end with a time of 1 minute, 47.25 seconds, the heat was won by Kenyan Ferguson Cheruiyot Rotich with a time 1 minute, 45.98 seconds. Speaking to David Gillick he said” I’m obviously disappointed, I would have liked to qualify for the semi-final”. He continued “I knew there were three good guys in that race and to do it turned out there were six in the end.”It was either take it by the scruff of the neck or leave it up to hope and for me that was the better option.”
English stated he intends to a take a year out. He said “I’m going to take next year off to go full-time training. 2020 was always my biggest goal when I took that time off. I’d love to make my second Olympic games and give that a good rattle when I get out there.”