Ciaran O’Lionaird has added his name to the list of Irish athletes who have qualified for finals today at the World Track and Championships in Daegu, South Korea.
The Corkman ran a perfect technical race in the 1500m semi-final to place sixth, securing a fastest loser spot into Saturday’s final at 12.15am Irish Time. The heat was won by Asbel Kiprop of Kenya in 3.36.75. Niall Bruton was the last Irish athlete to make a 1500m World final back in 1995.
Running in the second semi-final O’Lionaird was aware that he needed to place in the top seven and run at least 3.47.65 to guarantee him a place in the final. He put himself in contention remaining at the front of the field, covering each move by the leading Africans. In the final straight he again demonstrated his ability to kick as the burn-up commenced, to cross the line in sixth in a time that guaranteed him a spot in the final.
Irish Sprinters will be out in force in tomorrow’s morning session, with European Silver medallist Derval O’Rourke going in the heat of the 100m Hurdles at 2:20am, Irish Record holder Paul Hession, lines up in the heat of the 200m at 3:10am Irish Time and the woman’s 4x400m team of (in running order) Marian Heffernan, Joanne Cuddihy, Claire Bergin and Michelle Carey are in action at 4:10am Irish Time.