Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (D.S.D AC) ran a brave race and battled her way into the semi-finals of the women’s 800m on day one of the World Junior Track and Field championships in Barcelona. Buttner started strongly moving into fourth place at the 200m point behind the leader Anastasiya Tkachuk of the Ukraine.
Drama then occurred, when Buttner was involved in a tussle with the South African athlete Thato Makhafola. Undeterred Buttner strode on and focused on finishing in the top three positions. Buttner passed the Slovenian athlete Marusa Mismas with 80m to go and finished a brilliant third in 2.05.87 to qualify automatically for the semi-finals. Buttner will run in the semi finals at 11.20am on Wednesday, 11th of July.
Sean Tobin (Clonmel AC) and Ruairi Finnegan (Letterkenny AC) were competing in the men’s 1500m heats earlier in the programme. Tobin was drawn in heat one and finished a credible sixth place in a time of 3.49.11. A breakaway group of three athletes set the early pace as Tobin rallied for position in the pack. Tobin moved up through the field and showed his strength as he passed a number of athletes coming down the finishing straight. On reflection Tobin was disappointed with his race as he felt he should have gone with the early pace set by the three leaders.
Finnegan finished tenth in the third heat of the men’s 1500m in a time of 3.53.95. The race itself turned out to be a typical slow championship style race. A style of race that would usually suit the fast finishing Finnegan. The pack bunched together for the majority of the race until Finnegan through the gauntlet down with just over a lap to go. However when the kick really began with 300m remaining Finnegan had no response and lost ground on the leaders to come home in tenth position.
Although both athletes will be disappointed not to have progressed to the final, the men’s 1500m qualification was particularly tough. Only the top three athletes from each heat, along with the three fastest losers made it into the final.
Next up for the Irish will be Sarah Collins (Finn Valley AC) in the women’s 3000m Final at 19.00 Irish time. Kevin Dooney (Raheny Shamrock AC) then tackles 25 laps of the track in the men’s 10,000m final at 20.00.
There will be extensive coverage of the Championships on Eurosport