Olympic Athletics: English and Lavin frustrated

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Team Ireland had two more athletes competing in early morning athletics events while they waited for the 400m mixed relay final

Men’s 800m Round 1 – Heat 5 – Mark English

English, starting in Lane 3, had high hopes going into this event. Going by personal bests before the race, he was consider the fourth fastest racer and was well capable of a time under 1 minute 45 seconds.

The major favourites in this race would have been Mexico’s JT Lopez and Poland’s Patryk Dobek.

As the gun started the event, English took up his usual place of just behind the head runners to conserve his energy. After 100m the race became physical, the Irishman began a shoulder tussle with France’s Benjamin Robert.

The pushing calmed as the race continued. Next around the 300m, Dominica athlete Dennick Luke tripped and fell, essentially dooming his race.

The race continued without the athlete but English found himself in a bad position, stuck in the inside lane. In the back of the home straight, he waited for a gap to appear so he sprint forward.

Unfortunately English left it too late and did not have enough time to overtake Poland’s runner. His time of 1:46.75 was also too slow to qualify and his Olympics came to a premature end.

The 28-year-old from Letterkenny will be disappointed with that performance, but an Olympic journey caps off a good season for him.

Women’s 100m hurdles Round 1 – Heat 2 – Sarah Lavin

Lavin started this event in Lane 7, according to season bests she sat as the seventh fastest runner in the heat but only by milliseconds.

This race would go by in the blink of an eye with world record holder Kendra Harrison starting in Lane 5. Her record stands at 12.20 seconds, three quarters of a second faster than Lavin’s recent best.

The French runner was eager to begin, receiving a yellow card for causing a false start.

After lining up again, the race properly began. Lavin started well but her opponents started to pull away as she seemed tense.

USA’s Harrison dominated the race from the start, comfortably making it home first. Lavin finished in seventh in a time of 13.16.

Sadly her personal best, if she had ran it again, then it would have been good enough to qualify for the semi-finals.

This is now also the end of Lavin’s Olympic story but she has made the people of her hometown Limerick proud in Tokyo

Upcoming events

4 x 400m Mixed Relay – 13:35 – Sophie Becker, Cillin Greene, Phil Healy, Christopher O’Donnell

LiveScores Now Available at IrishScores.com

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