On Day 2 of the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, the first day Irish competitors were in action, Bandon’s Phil Healy created history by becoming the first Irish woman to advance to the semi-finals of the 400m at a World Indoor Championships when finishing in third place in her heat in a time of 52.75 seconds.
She later produced a brave run from lane 1 to finish third in her semi-final in 53.26 seconds, but unfortunately failed to make the final of the event.
Healy, who officially finished 12th overall, said of her performance:
“I said I was going to go out there and die fighting and I’m proud of my performances at these championships.”
There was disappointment for 18-year-old Ciara Neville from Emerald as she clocked a time of 7.47 seconds in the first heat of the women’s 60m, finishing in seventh place. The Limerick athlete felt the experience will help her career, stating:
“I wanted to do better but it will help to build confidence for the future.”
City of Lisburn’s Amy Foster, who ran an Irish record of 7.27 seconds to win the national senior championships last month, was fifth in heat 2 of the 60m in 7.35 seconds. The European Athletics Championships-bound athlete said of her performance: “It’s not a bad run. It’s just not what I was looking for.”
Ciara Mageean ran 4:11.81 in heat three of the Women’s 1,500m for seventh place, but unfortunately didn’t make the final. The UCD athlete, a bronze medal winner over 1,500 at the European Athletics Championships in Amsterdam in 2016, stated: “I’m disappointed but I know I’m running better than that.” The Portaferry runner’s next major competition will be the XXI Commonwealth Games in Queensland, Australia, next month.
North Down’s Ben Reynolds, who received an IAAF invite to compete at these Championships and is the only male Irish athlete in Birmingham, will participate in the heats of the Men’s 60m hurdles this evening at 6:37pm.
There is live coverage of the World Indoor Championships from Birmingham on BBC TV.