Olympic Athletics: Ireland’s mixed relay get 8th in historic race

Tokyo 2020 Team Ireland Athletics
8 July 2021; Phil Healy, left, and Nadia Power during a Tokyo Team Ireland Announcement for Athletics Track and Field at the Sport Ireland Conference Centre in Dublin. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile *** NO REPRODUCTION FEE ***

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Ireland’s 4x400m mixed relay team of Sophie Becker, Phil Healy, Cillin Greene and Christopher O’Donnell, finished eight in first ever Olympic final

This Irish team had first qualified automatically in second place in their semifinal yesterday after USA and Dominican Republic were disqualified. After a referral both, teams were reinstated as both faults were down to errors by officials.

Ireland still qualified as the national record breaking time was still fast enough.

The team came out all smiles from inside the stadium to take their position in lane one. The favourites for this race were the USA and Poland.

Greene was up first for Ireland and got off to a decent start, finishing the first lap in sixth place ahead of Team GB.

He handed over well to Collins who held onto the position until the lanes merged, she was in seventh at the handover.

At the baton change, Jamaica and Germany tangled, leaving the Germans on the ground, dropping their baton. They continued to finish the race well behind the rest but it ultimately did not count.

Becker fought with Jamaica for the seventh place spot and that continued into the last 400m with O’Donnell.

Ireland finished the race in a time of 3:15.04, narrowly in eight, two seconds off their record time.

Poland would take gold with an Olympic record time of 3:09.87. Dominican Republic got silver while the USA were resigned to bronze.

This young Irish relay team, although disappointed not to improve on their best time should be very happy with their performance at the inaugural mixed relay event.

This will conitinue to be a team to look out for in the future world championships and for Paris in 2023.

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