Thursday 23 May 2019

Athletics: Foroughi, Lieghio lead Irish charge

Cliona Foley

DROGHEDA high jumper Kourosh Foroughi and Tallaght's Anthony Lieghio provided the Irish highlights at the European U-23 Championships in Ostrava yesterday.

After running a lifetime best of 1:48.06 to reach the 800m final Lieghio, who only recently broke 1:49 for the first time, finished sixth with a time of 1:48.77 in a race won by Polish flier Adam Kszczot in 1:46.71.

Foroughi (Star of the Sea), a bronze medallist at European Youth Olympics in 2007, sailed through qualifying, clearing 2.14m with his first attempt to finish second in his group and clinch a place in tomorrow's final (2.05 Irish time).

Two Irish sprinters also ran well to reach today's 200m semi-finals. Steven Colvert (UCD) ran close to his PB when winning his heat in 20.95 and Niamh Whelan got through as a 'fastest loser' after finishing fifth in her heat in 24.13. However, her Ferrybank clubmate Chris Russell is out after finishing seventh in his heat in 21.63.

After running PBs in their 400m hurdles heats, neither Tim Crowe (Dooneen) or Paul Byrne (St Abban's) could replicate them in their semi-finals, both finishing seventh.

Clonliffe steeplechaser David Flynn (ninth) and Ballymena & Antrim pole vaulter Claire Wilkinson failed to get through their qualifying yesterday.

Irish medal hopes today centre on Brian Gregan and Jessie Barr, who have qualified for the 400m (3.40) and 400m hurdles (3.0) finals respectively.

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