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English cruises into semi-final

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Ireland's Mark English after winning his heat of the men's 800m event, with a time of 1:47.38. European Athletics Championships 2014 - Day 1. Letzigrund Stadium, Zurich, Switzerland. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile.

Ireland's Mark English after winning his heat of the men's 800m event, with a time of 1:47.38. European Athletics Championships 2014 - Day 1. Letzigrund Stadium, Zurich, Switzerland. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile.

Ireland's Mark English after winning his heat of the men's 800m event, with a time of 1:47.38. European Athletics Championships 2014 - Day 1. Letzigrund Stadium, Zurich, Switzerland. Picture: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile.

DONEGAL'S Mark English cruised impressively into the 800 metres semi-finals at the European Track and Field Championships in Zurich yesterday.

The in-form English won his heat in a time of 1 minute 47.38 seconds to qualify for tonight's semi-final.

Declan Murray failed to progress out of his heat as the Loyola University runner finished in a disappointing seventh place (1:50.01) after failing to stay with the pace for the final 200 metres.

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Last night there was no joy for Fionnuala Britton in the 10,000 metre final as she trailed in eighth with Britain's Jo Pavey winning to become the oldest female European champion, aged 40.

Earlier in the day Thomas Barr triumphed in his heat of 400m hurdles at the Letzigrund Stadium.

The Waterford man, and current Irish senior record holder (48.90), ran the eighth fastest time overall (49.79) to progress to today's semi-final.

"Delighted to have got through that, and so far so good," said the 22-year-old Barr.

"I know the semi-finals are going to be a real tough fight now, and it will mean going low 49-seconds to get through."

From the three 400m hurdles semi-finals, only the top two are assured of a place in Friday's final, plus the two fastest losers.

Jason Harvey, running in the final 400m hurdles heat, was eliminated when finishing seventh.

Harvey's preparations suffered as a result of suffering an ankle ligament damage in training just four weeks ago.

Lisburn's Amy Foster just missed out on automatic qualification from her 100m heat after finishing in fifth (11.51).

However, Foster qualified for the semis as one of four fastest losers but Cork's Phil Healy was eliminated after the Bandon sprinter finished sixth in her 100m heat.

Dubliner Brian Gregan progressed into the 400m semi-finals after coming home third in his heat, clocking a time of 49.33. Richard Morrissey ran a personal best to finish sixth in his 400m heat (46.20) to qualify as a fastest loser. Limerick's Sarah Lavin failed to advance from the 100m hurdles after finishing last in her heat.


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