Athletics: Euro heartache for Quinn as he misses out on medal
THERE was heartbreak for Waterford's Shane Quinn at the European U-23 Championships in Finland when he came agonisingly close to winning a medal, finishing fourth in the 10,000m final.
The rangy Ferrybank star, on scholarship in Providence College, lowered his personal best to 29:49.43 but, in a race where the first nine men broke 30 minutes, he finished five seconds off bronze.
The Irish team had an excellent first day in Tampere, where Richard Morrissey (Crusaders) also clocked a personal best of 46.57, when finishing third in his 400m semi-final to go through to the final.
Conor McCullough (22), the US-born son of a former Irish Olympian who switched allegiances from America to Ireland in the past year, showed why he was world junior champion in 2010, throwing a season's best of 69.40m to go through to tomorrow's hammer final.
Dublin sprinter Catherine McManus (Celtic DCH) shook off a recent injury to equal her PB of 11.74 while winning her 100m heat and later finished seventh, in 11.98, in her semi-final.
Ferrybank's Thomas Barr and Crusaders' Jason Harvey both cruised through the 400m hurdles preliminaries, the former winning his heat in 50.11 and the latter runner-up in another in 50.65. Barr's time ranks him second ahead of today's semi-finals (3.25).
But there was real disappointment for Letterkenny's Mark English (UCD), who was fifth in the world junior 800m final last year but has been struggling with illness recently.
He was third at the bell in 54.75 but the burn-up over the final 100m proved too much and he finished third in 1:49.65, with 1:48.39 needed to get through as a fastest loser.
Despite running close to his PB (47.28) Carrick-on-Suir's Dara Kervick didn't make it through the 400m heats either – he was fifth in 47.44
Elsewhere, Dunleer AC's Tomas Cotter finished 10th in the 3,000m steeplechase in 8:59.40 at the World University Games in Kazan.
David Cussen (Old Abbey) cleared 2.09m in the high jump at the World Youth Championships in Donetsk to qualify for the final on his international debut, but neither Fiona Tuite (Fingallians) or Fellan McGuigan (Finn Valley) got through shot and hammer qualifying, with throws of 13.59m and 68.94m respectively.
After running a 55.15 PB to make the 400m semi-finals, Galway City Harriers' Alanna Lally also bowed out, finishing fifth in 55.40 in an event where only sub-55 second runs made the final.