Saturday 18 January 2020

Bruised Cléirigh-Buttner bows out

Síofra Cléirigh-Buttner. Photo: Sportsfile
Síofra Cléirigh-Buttner. Photo: Sportsfile

Cathal Dennehy

Beaten, bruised, but far from broken - that was the state of play for Síofra Cléirigh-Buttner after her senior global championships debut in London last night.

The 22-year-old Dubliner bowed out of the women's 800m after a rocky road to the finish, eventually crossing the line sixth in 2:06.54 in a race won by Charlene Lipsey of the US in 2:02.74.

Cléirigh-Buttner qualified for the event via the IAAF's quota system - whereby extra places were awarded to the fastest athletes who didn't have the qualifying time - and afterwards she admitted, quite rightly, that just getting here had been an achievement in itself.

"I was dealt a good hand of cards," she said. "But I'm here to get more than experience. I'd like to compete tough and get to the next round but I came in with the attitude that anything can happen."

Qualification had always looked an impossible task, though Cléirigh-Buttner still went with the leaders as they passed 400m in a controlled 62.33.

However, as they entered the back straight for the final time, she rolled her ankle as a shuffle in the pack caused her to break stride. Nonetheless she maintained contact with the leaders until the final turn but had no response as they accelerated away up the home straight.

"I'm proud of how I handled myself but I was a little unfortunate to roll my ankle with 300 to go," she said.

A student at Villanova University in the US, Cléirigh-Buttner reflected positively on her year to date, which had culminated with her first senior global championships appearance in London.

"It's been a good year," she said. "There has obviously ups and downs, but I need to get used to competing through the rounds. I've definitely got a lot more in me and I've a lot of people supporting me in the stands. There's no reason I shouldn't be back here and in finals in the future."

Meanwhile, Turkey's Ramil Guliyev took a surprise win in the men's 200m in 20.09 ahead of South Africa's Wayne van Niekerk (20.11). Botswana's Isaac Makwala finished sixth in 20.44.

The winning mark was the slowest at a global meeting since 2003.

Kori Carter of the US won the women's 400m hurdles in 53.07, while American Christian Taylor took the men's triple jump with 17.68m.

Irish Independent

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